The government of the Northern Territory has been forced to appeal to the patriotic spirit of Territorians to sign up for the job of picking mangoes. In what is called ‘a mango picking crisis’, an earlier recruitment drive that resulted in drafting 170 pickers from Vanuata did not really not put much of a dent into the 1000 picker shortage.
One Katherine mango farm needs 60 people for work starting the first week of October. The farm says the workers may be needed to work 6-7 days per week, 10/14 hours per day for eight weeks.
Department of Primary Industry and Resources and Northern Territory Farmers Association have launched a local worker attraction campaign encouraging Territorians to be local heroes by signing up for fruit picking jobs to help farmers get their produce to market.
The Territory's mangoes are facing new challenges this year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions restricting seasonal and backpacker workforces, with farmers expecting a shortfall of up to 1000 workers.