A project to expand the Kakadu plum industry in Northern Australia has received a $500,000 grant from the Australian Government.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja said today the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) is providing the funding as part of a three-year, $2.7-million project.
Participants in the project included Indigenous Resource Centres and Communities, the University of Queensland, the Kimberley Institute Limited, Charles Darwin University and Kindred Spirits Enterprises – Traditional Homeland Enterprises.
Minister Canavan said there was a healthy demand for Kakadu plum products in Australia and overseas, and, with greater efficiencies, the industry had the potential to grow significantly.
“Indigenous Kakadu plum suppliers in the Thamarrurr Region of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley in Western Australia will work with researchers to review the efficiency of plum production,” Minister Canavan said.
“This will include harvesting, training of workers, processing, distribution, maintenance of fruit quality and development of new products.
“Through its funding contribution to the CRCNA, the Australian Government is pleased to support an industry that can create businesses and jobs across the north.”
Assistant Minister Seselja said that, although Kakadu plums were mainly harvested wild, there was a clear opportunity to improve commercial operations.
“Kakadu plums are traditional bush tucker and grow wild across the top of Northern Australia from the Kimberley through the Northern Territory and into Queensland,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.
“The small light green fruit has a vitamin C level many times that of oranges and is much higher in anti-oxidants than blueberries. Apart from food, plum products have a variety of other commercial uses.
“Indigenous groups have already established plantations and, with the assistance of this project, more could be developed.”