CRCNA Reference number: A.3.1819067
Total project value: $443,045
CRCNA funding: $ 100,000
Project length: 2 years
Completion date: June 2021


  • Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)
  • Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA DPIRD)
  • Carnarvon Growers’ Association
  • Northern Territory Farmers’ Association (NT Farmers)
  • Cravo Australia Pty Ltd
  • Port of Townsville Ltd
  • Pirrone Brothers Produce

Research locations:

  • Ayr, Burdekin region, QLD
  • Bowen, QLD
  • Gumlu, QLD
  • Atherton Tablelands, QLD
  • Carnarvon, WA
  • Lake Bennett, NT


This project brings together an R&D partnership between industry stakeholders and government organisations across northern QLD, NT, and WA that will support growers identify new investments to scale up commercial protected cropping (PC).

The work will build on an initial proof of concept undertaken by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to assist the horticulture industry establish a set of technologies and associated agronomic practices to securely produce a wider range of ‘demand-led’ fresh produce, over a longer period and with greater efficiency in the management of resources.

Development of a road map of potential pathways for increased benefits to farmers through PC adoption will provide current and new growers tangible steps which can be taken and identify ways northern Australia’s vegetable and fruit export value chains can be strengthened.

This project will inform a vision for the PC industry in the tropics and outline region-specific potential pathways to adoption.

Expected outcomes and impact:

  • Increased awareness, understanding, and knowledge about the potential opportunities and challenges for adopting PC in key regions of northern Australia.
  • A comprehensive report providing region-specific recommendations for protected cropping adoption.
  • A doubling of the current protected cropping area for vegetables and berries in the tropics with 5 to 8 years, to circa 300 ha.