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AU couple turn sheep paddock into multi-million dollar citrus orchard

Nine years ago, farming couple Sue Middleton and Michael Brennan established a 170,000-tree citrus orchard on a sheep property at Moora in Western Australia.

The presence of underground water gave them and their business partners the confidence to invest $20 million in the project, which has created jobs and pumped millions into the local economy.

"If this was still a sheep paddock it would produce about $150,000 worth of income a year and there'd be less than one job," Ms Middleton said.

"As a horticulture business it will produce $15 to 20 million in turnover a year, plus 40 to 50 jobs, so the difference is absolutely extraordinary, and for the community of Moora that means it's been future-proofed as well."

The council hopes Moora Citrus' success would encourage others to switch to or invest in horticulture.

"We are optimistic there are projects in the wind where that water can drive intensive horticulture, which gives you so much more potential for jobs and that ripple effect which goes into your whole economy," said councillor Colin Gardiner.

Read more at abc.net.au

Publication date: 8/14/2017


 


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