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NT farmers ferry 10 tonnes of fruit and vegies to market across flooded, croc-infested river

Matt Brann, Wednesday March 7, 2018 - 07:00 EDT
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Where there's a will there's a way: farmers ferrying their produce across the flooded Adelaide River, NT. - ABC

Photos have emerged of the huge effort Northern Territory farmers have gone to this wet season, to get fruit and vegies across the flooded Adelaide River.

The Arnhem Highway was closed, properties were flooded, crocodiles were lurking in places they normally do not go, but that did not stop local farmers from getting their produce to market.

Where did the boat come from?

Three years ago the local NT Vietnamese Horticultural Association raised money to buy a boat, with the aim of helping the Marrakai community during times of flood.

Speaking to the NT Country Hour, farmer Chris Pham said the boat was named 'Marrakai Friendly Boat' and this year it was put to good use.

"So it's just been sitting on land for the last few years, but luckily this year we were able to use it," he said.

"The highway was cut for about 12 days, so it has now played a massive role.

"We didn't have any other way to get across [the river] and this boat came in very handy, shipping Asian vegetables across to get down to the Sydney and Melbourne markets. We shipped 10 tonnes of crop.

"The produce would have been left to rot on the farm if we couldn't boat it across, so we were very lucky."

Mr Pham said it took several boat-trips across a number of days to get all of the produce across the river and into trucks waiting on the other side.

Fixed the problem

NT Farmers Association CEO Greg Owens said it was a wonderful story that typified the attitude of farmers in that region.

"These farmers have gone and found a solution for themselves. They haven't relied on others to fix the problem, and it's so typical of that group of farmers," he said.

"These farmers are innovative, they're hard working and that's why they've been so successful for many years in the Northern Territory."


© ABC 2018

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