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Native grains from paddock to plate

Study of the economic, environmental and social sustainability of an ancient system in a modern context
Aboriginal community controlled organisations Food production Agriculture Indigenous knowledge First Peoples land management New South Wales
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Native grains from paddock to plate 3.9 MB

This research was based on the land, species and people currently residing on Gomeroi country, particularly near Narrabri, NSW and has also been guided by commercial production of grains and the social enterprise business model of Black Duck Foods on Yuin country. Whilst it focuses on one part of Australia, many of the principles will apply across the nation. This data can be used to make policy recommendations to governments, as well as in economic modelling.

Key findings:

  • The socio-cultural sustainability of the dhuwarr (bread make from native grains) production system has the right building blocks, provided Gomeroi people are given the resources (land, equipment, skills and market connections) to participate in the industry as it emerges. This will include consideration of appropriate business models, and ways to collaborate between land holders of all cultural backgrounds to take advantage of areas of land which can be easily used for dhunbarrbila (edible grain/seed) production.
  • The next priority for research is food product development. Food product development should be done as a partnership between producers, chefs and Aboriginal communities, as the species that are the most marketable/nutritious are not necessarily the same ones that grow well or are well known in communities, and vice versa.
  • Growing and using native plant species in an agricultural or horticultural setting is a valuable way of using the environment in a productive and balanced way. Because many native Australian plants are perennials – soil disturbance associated with tilling and sowing is reduced for dhunbarrbila. Having plant cover for long periods of time will also protect soil surfaces by reducing water and wind erosion.

Despite the challenges, the scope for dhunbarrbilla production on Gomeroi country (North West NSW) for people of all cultural backgrounds is positive, and brings excellent opportunities for rejuvenation of country.

Related Information

Native Grains introduction - From Paddock to Plate…

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