The Territory’s crocodile farming industry has been independently valued for the first time with figures showing the real contribution of the Top End icon at $106.7 million - more than four times previously estimated.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the report – commissioned by the NT Government and Crocodile Farmers Association NT (CFANT) - reinforced the NT Government’s plan to create jobs, drive investment and maximise economic opportunities within the industry.
“We know that our beloved crocodiles are a massive tourism magnet to the Territory, but now we also know just how much the farming industry plays in terms of their economic impact and potential,” Mr Gunner said.
“The Government was elected on the promise of creating jobs and this report highlights what we have already identified as a major growth sector in our Economic Development Framework – and that is agribusiness.”
The Ernst and Young Report found the overall value of farm related tourism and retail, egg collection in remote communities and veterinary services in 2014-15 was $106.7 million, and generated 264 full time jobs in the NT.
Of those jobs, 19 were in remote communities.
“The crocodile farming industry is making an important contribution to economic development in remote communities, providing a source of private sector employment for traditional land owners and regional communities,” Mr Gunner said.
“It is also paving the way for innovative ideas such as remote farming initiatives, which was introduced in Ramingining in 2014. This initiative offers an opportunity to those in remote communities to collect and hatch eggs, then raise and sell juvenile crocodiles to farms.”
Mr Gunner said the industry’s primary product, saltwater crocodile skins, is amongst the most sought after in the world and form part of the high end global fashion supply.
“Saltwater crocodiles have an enormous economic potential in terms of income, employment, technology innovation and economic development particular in remote Aboriginal communities,” he said.
“The private and public sector both play an important role in future development of this industry, and the NT Government will continue to work in partnership with the CFANT to grow and develop future economic opportunities.”