Painting of Murnong (yam daisy) by Boon Wurrung artist Adam Magennis
Aboriginal Victorians leading the commercial production of Victoria’s native food and botanicals
Agriculture Victoria and the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations (the Federation) have partnered to support Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal Victorians to lead the development of Victoria’s native food and botanicals industry.
About Djakitjuk Djanga
Djakitjuk Djanga (Country’s food) is a new program that is being delivered by the Federation in collaboration with Agriculture Victoria.
Under Djakitjuk Djanga, grants of up to $200,000 (excl GST) will be available to eligible Aboriginal businesses and organisations to help overcome key resource related barriers to commercially producing native plants for use as food and botanicals.
Djakitjuk Djanga will also establish a Community of Practice to help progress Aboriginal leadership of Victoria’s native food and botanicals industry.
Djakitjuk Djanga applications closed Wednesday 6 May 2020.
Djakitjuk Djanga grant recipients
Thirteen Aboriginal Victorian-owned businesses were awarded a Djakitjuk Djanga grant to support the development of their native food and botanical business.
The project will implement a plan for a 0.8 hectare wattle seed and pepper berry crop as part of a new business. The grant will be used to purchase:
- a water tank and irrigation system
- tube stock
- specialist advice on planting layout and set-up
- advice for pest, disease and fire management plans.
Black Duck Foods
The grant will be used to engage a farm manager and labourer, purchase agronomy expertise, seed, equipment and small-scale infrastructure on the trial site at Gypsy Point. The project will strengthen and extend crop production trials of native grasses and tubers and create a knowledge hub for sharing the trial learnings.
Nalderun plans to establish a commercial native food garden on leased land at Harcourt. The grant will be used to:
- employ a part time horticulturalist / gardener
- prepare the site
- build a shed
- set up an irrigation system
- purchase equipment to support processing and sales.
The project has an education component to promote native foods, building on Nalderun’s current activities, and will provide a supply of plants and fresh, dried and processed products (teas, salts,) for sale to local businesses.
GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation and Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place
The project will establish a native food production nursery at Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place Learning Place (WNLP) near Yarram in Gippsland. The grant will be used to employ a program coordinator and upgrade nursery infrastructure at the WNLP site. WNLP is a culturally appropriate residential learning place for Aboriginal men undertaking Community Corrections Orders.
The GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation and Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place partnership will initially create a bush food supply for the GLaWAC Bush Café in Kalimna West. This project will help to extend supply to other markets as the production levels increase, while supporting skills development for Aboriginal men who are engaged with WNLP.
Njernda Aboriginal Corporation
This project is for the commercial growth of wattle seed. The grant will be used to:
- employ a full-time farm hand
- engage a specialist consultant
- purchase tube stock
- prepare the site for production.
The project will consolidate and extend an existing wattle seed and bush tomato field trial, which has been affected by rabbits and poor water infrastructure. The grant will be used to:
- build a rabbit-proof fence
- install a watering system
- purchase tube stock.
This will increase their wattle seed production, and allow capacity for their bush tomato field trial to start.
Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation
The project will implement a plan for a commercial bush food garden and orchard at the historic Coranderrk site. The grant will be used to:
- prepare the site including fencing, drainage, garden beds
- purchase water tanks, irrigation materials, growing sheds and pots.
A part-time project manager will also be employed.
Worn Gunditj Aboriginal Co-operative
This three-year project will further extend a trial of emerging bushfoods including kunzea, correa, boobialla and several eucalypt species to test their crop production potential and to inform future larger-scale commercial crop species selection. The grant will be used to employ a project officer and pay for:
- site infrastructure
- trial site set up
- agricultural consultant fees
- harvesting and processing.
Barengi Gadgin Land Council Aboriginal Cooperative
The Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLC) project focuses on the redevelopment of the Wail Nursery in Dimboola to increase native food plant production. This includes increasing employment, site development and maintenance, and infrastructure upgrades to enable the nursery’s future viability.
First People of the Millewa Mallee Aboriginal Corporation
The project will employ staff and purchase equipment to implement a planned native seed bank and native plant nursery, which is part of First People’s ‘Environment & Ecosystem Restoration Program’. This program will facilitate large-scale plantings for habitat and commercial regenerative farming production. The work will be facilitated by the Cultural Ranger: Custodians of Country team.
Willum Warrain Aboriginal Corporation
For the past six years Willum Warrain has been revegetating land it leases from the Mornington Peninsula Shire with native food plants including murrnong (yam), chocolate lily, lomandra, karkalla and apple-berry. This project will involve expanding food-growing trials and developing a botanicals and flavourings product line.
Worawa Aboriginal College
The project builds on the vision of Worawa Aboriginal College past Elders to pass on traditional knowledge of use of plants for food, medicine and craft. The Djakitjuk Djanga grant will facilitate engagement of a horticulturalist and a project officer to focus on creating opportunities for commercial use of bush foods in Indigenous cuisine and botanicals. An exciting element will be the integration of bush food production and botanicals into student learning activities within the College’s climate-controlled greenhouse.
Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
The project, which will be guided by a Steering Committee of Wurundjeri Elders, proposes the development of a commercial native bushfood garden and orchard on land owned by the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, with the aim of establishing a range of commercial bush food products developed for an emerging native Victorian bush food industry that is led by Aboriginal people, and guided by good policy.
For more information, or to apply through the Federation’s website, visit fvtoc.com.au/native-foods-and-botanicals or contact:
Djakitjuk Djanga is a Dja Dja Wurrung language term that means ‘Country’s food’. It is used with the generous permission of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.