Mildura is a rural city of around 50,000 inhabitants located on the Murray River in north-west Victoria, near the junction of Darling River. While located in Victoria, Mildura is closer to Adelaide (SA) and Broken Hill (NSW) than the state capital Melbourne.
The Mildura region is a major horticultural and agricultural area, despite being located in the Mallee which is the hottest and driest region of Victoria. While most of the Mallee consists of flat, semi-arid sand dune country, areas of intensive irrigation adjacent to the rivers have supported a wide variety of horticultural and agricultural development since the late 1800s. The broader Mallee region to the south and west of Mildura is a also major wheat and grain-producing region.
Other developing food-related industries include freshwater aquaculture (Murray Cod) and goat meat and cheese.
Irrigated areas close to the Murray River are major producers of:
- fresh and dried grapes including table grapes and wine grapes
- fresh and dried fruit including citrus, stone fruit and avocados
- nuts including almonds and pistacchio nuts
- most vegetables, in particular pumpkins and melons, garlic and asparagus
Challenges facing the Mildura region today include climate change and the demands of corporatised and globalised agribusiness which have, for example, seriously impacted the availability of irrigation water to small scale producers in the region.