Northern Adelaide Plains Agribusiness Initiative

The Northern Adelaide Plains (NAP) is perfectly positioned to become a global leader in intensive food production.  The maturity of the industry, the proximity to markets and the natural growing conditions provide competitive advantages that have enabled the NAP to develop the largest covered cropping area in Australia.

The NAP is located to the north of Adelaide and comprises the councils of City of Playford, City of Salisbury, District Council of Mallala, Barossa Council, Light Regional Council and Wakefield Regional Council.

This zone generates over one-third of South Australia’s horticulture production, approximately 170,000 tonnes of fresh produce, valued at over $340 million per annum (2014-15)1.

Adding to the capacity of this region, the Northern Adelaide Food Park will provide a specialised hub for food manufacturers and food processing businesses, together with food packaging, storage and logistics companies. It will provide access to infrastructure and services on the one site, offer better efficiencies and competitiveness, and lift export opportunities. Planning for the state-of-the-art facility is well underway.

Agribusiness can deliver transformational change to Northern Adelaide, increasing employment opportunities across the value chain.  PIRSA is working with agricultural industries on the Northern Adelaide Plains (NAP) to develop the region as a global leader in intensive food production.

The Northern Adelaide Plains Agribusiness Initiative (NAPAI)

The NAP Agribusiness Initiative is a flagship project for PIRSA that supports the development of the NAP through:

  1. increased access to water resources
  2. productivity and efficiency gains across the agricultural sectors
  3. expansion of market opportunities.

The NAP Agribusiness Initiative is a key priority of the SA Government’s Northern Economic Plan, Look North, which is seeking to create a prosperous northern Adelaide, focused on creating jobs and empowering local communities.

It also has a significant role in delivering on the State’s Economic Priority Premium Food and Wine Produced in our Clean Environment and Exported to the World, by underpinning the expansion of premium food production in South Australia.

Projects Underway

Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS)

A key priority of the NAP Agribusiness Initiative is to achieve growth in agricultural industries through increased access to water resources. PIRSA and SA Water are working together as joint partners to attract investment in the development of a new irrigation scheme, the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS).

The NAIS will make available 20GL of recycled water per annum to industry through the augmentation of the Bolivar Waste Water Treatment Plant, increased winter water storage capacity, and the development of a new distribution network.

In May 2016 the Australian Government committed $2.5 million from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to fast-track a feasibility study into the NAIS project. PIRSA and SA Water are working together to complete this feasibility study and develop a business case for capital investment. In undertaking this work PIRSA and SA Water will identify the parameters of the new irrigation scheme, including the quality and quantity of water that will be available, the price of water and the location and extent of the new irrigation system.

Read more about the NAIS on the SA Water website.

Pest Free Area

Biosecurity South Australia is involved in the certification of the Northern Adelaide Plains and Pest Free Area (PFA) by ensuring the region meets the international standard for phytosanitary measures, which sets out the requirements for fruit fly pest-free status to be declared. International recognition of the Northern Adelaide Plains pest-free status would enable growers to export high quality horticultural commodities to important trading partners within three days of harvest, without the need for costly treatments which reduce quality and freshness. Find more information on fruit fly .


For more information on the NAPAI

Bengy Paolo, Director Major Programs
Phone: +61 8 8429 0202

Saideh Kent, NAP Program Coordinator
Phone: +61 8 8429 0532

Tamara Rohrlach, Horticulture Industry Account Manager
Phone: +61 8 8429 0408

1. Northern Adelaide Horticulture Production 2020 Growth Scenario, PIRSA Scorecard team, 2016
Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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