Great Northern Spices

Broadacre Cropping
Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
4 years
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Ian Biggs


  • Central Queensland University (CQUniversity)
  • AgriVentis Technologies Pty Ltd
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)
  • Western Australian Government Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)
  • Northern Territory Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT)
  • RDO Equipment Pty Ltd
  • CH Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association Inc
  • Burdekin Bowen Integrated Flood Plain Management Advisory Committee Inc
  • OKR Pty Ltd (T.R.AP Services)
  • Allenden Seeds Pty Ltd
  • Rockhampton Regional Council
  • AgriDry Dryers Ptd Ltd


CRCNA project A.2.1819045, “Spicing up northern Australia with high value condiment crops”, established three spice crops (sesame, fennel, and kalonji) have potential as cash crops in Northern Australian producers. This project builds on the initial spicing up the north project and will investigate four themes to address the key impediments for the developing these three spice crops as a commercial Northern Australian spice industry.

The Great Northern Spices project will provide environment specific recommendations and industry knowledge to support growers to integrate spice crops into both new and existing northern farming systems, including planting protocols and pest management through developing a compendium of weeds, pests and diseases and their control options. It will investigate best practice machinery use and settings to ensure optimal crop emergence and yield capture and determine options for drying and cleaning the seed product to assure post-harvest quality.

Additionally, the project will provide gross margin analyses and value chain options across northern farming systems, and the data required to support the development of crop specific export protocols.

Expected outcomes

The development of commercially viable Great Northern Spice industry producing sesame (black and white), kalonji and fennel, which will be achieved through the generation of new knowledge, extension and capacity building activities. Based on forward inquiry from domestic and international customers, AgriVentis Technologies Ltd. conservatively forecasts that by the end of 2026 the market demand will sustain at least:

  • 5000 hectares of sesame (non-shattering black and white) production spread across the various production areas in Northern Australia
  • 1000 hectares of kalonji production
  • 500 hectares of fennel production.

Increasing yields in these crops is estimated to drive significant economic gains for producers, through increased farm gate prices and return on investment.