Spicing up Northern Australia with high-value condiment crops

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


  • Central Queensland University (CQUni)
  • Agriventis Technologies Pty Ltd
  • Rockhampton Regional Council
  • T.R.A.P Services
  • Burdekin-Bowen Integrated Floodplain Management Advisory Committee Inc (BBIFMAC)
  • Foxwell Farming
  • G Kennedy and I.J Kennedy
  • Kenrose Co Pty Ltd
  • Kennedy Valley Farming
  • Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (NT DITT)
  • Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA DPIR)


This project will undertake field trials to test the suitability of these spices to real-world operating systems and develop agronomic advice to support grower adoption. Through the direct involvement of farmers, advisers and commercial seed companies, this project will build the supply chain links needed to establish a new and viable industry for the North.

Researchers will assess the market and supply chain opportunities available and the environmental and agronomic systems required for producers in northern Australia to adopt five high-value spice crops (cumin, caraway, black sesame, kalonji and fennel) to form the basis of a new industry to meet Australian demand and become an export opportunity.

Data gathered in glasshouse trials by CQUniversity and AgriVentis Technologies has delivered the proof of suitability of these five-spice crops to advance research to field trial stage. Data gathered from this project’s field trials in the six different agro-ecological zones will allow for detailed assessments to be made of the suitability of these crops for wide-scale commercial production in northern Australia.


Expected outcomes

  1. Reveal the value of and opportunity to grow five new spices crops into the cropping industry in northern Australia. This will be revealed through the project outputs of agronomic guides and varietal assessment reports that will enable growers to select the most suitable spices crop for commercial production and follow best agronomic practices to produce a profitable crop.
  2. Supply chain pathways to domestic and Asian markets. Will be achieved through the connection of farmers to seed companies operating in both national and international markets. The project will develop a grower and adviser base connected to seed supplier and seed exporter AgriVentis. AgriVentis will engage with international buyers, initially targeting expressions of interest already received from Turkey and Korean food processing companies. The market research component of the project will identify other potential new markets, as well as any economic barriers which may need to be considered in accessing these markets.
  3. Establishing a base level of spice crop production upon which an industry can be built in northern Australia: This outcome will be achieved through the use of extension and adoption strategies to link new growers and advisers to AgriVentis supply contracts. The knowledge developed by this project will be delivered to growers and advisers through outputs including variety production guides, leading to the adoption of best practice cropping methods and thus resulting in maximised crop yields and farmer viability.