AUSTRALIA 2016 - 2017 : Piñata Farms expanding its mango empire, planting 20,000 trees in the Top End

ABC Rural By Matt Brann

Posted about 3 hours ago

One of Australia's biggest mango producers has just planted 3,000 mango trees near Katherine and will next week start planting 17,000 mango trees near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

It marks the start of a major expansion project by Piñata Farms, which owns the rights to the Honey Gold mango variety.

00:00 AUDIO: Gavin Scurr shows ABC Rural his company's new mango farm near Darwin (ABC Rural)

Managing director Gavin Scurr said the company will plant an extra 13,000 mango trees near Darwin in 2017 and continue planting extra trees at Katherine and also Mareeba in Queensland.

"There's been a big increase in mango consumption across Australia in the last couple of years, which has been primarily led by an improvement in quality overall by the mango industry," he said.

"We've got customers out there demanding more and there's export opportunities such as the US market, which has recently opened and is showing some huge potential.

"It takes mangoes about eight to 10 years [from planting] before they're in full production, so you need to think ahead and that's what we're doing.

"We're planting now for a future demand that's going to be a lot bigger than it currently is."


PHOTO: Irrigation in place for Piñata Farms to plant 17,000 mango trees near Humpty Doo, NT. (ABC Rural: Matt Brann)

The move by Piñata to grow mangoes near Darwin gives the company another market window during Australia's mango season.

"Our mangoes will never be the first to hit the shelves in a mango season, but by planting in the Darwin region for the first time, we'll be able to harvest a month earlier,"
Mr Scurr said.

The mangoes near Darwin are being planted on the old Darwin Banana Farm, which Piñata has recently become a part-owner of.

The property's name has been changed to Darwin Fruit Farm and is also where Piñata has successfully established the NT's biggest pineapple crop.