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Australia: Fruit picker shortage in Katherine

Katherine citrus orchards are on the hunt for more labour this month, as a shortage of hands is hindering current harvest efforts. Bill Davey of Katherine's Agri-Exchange orchard says he's struggling to find enough pickers to harvest the 300 tonne lemon crop. Mr Davey says he's only been able to pick 80 tonnes and further delays will impact the red-fleshed grapefruit harvest which was due to begin next month.

"We are into the peak of the lemons and it would be nice to have another five to ten pickers for two weeks which not that easy in the Top End bearing in mind the demographics of the population and picking people." "We would be able to get our production up by 50 to 75 percent of our present production and finish that much sooner which would allow us then to to move onto other picking of the red fleshed grapefruit which are put back because of the delay, and this compounds itself as time moves on."


Publication date: 2/4/2008


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