Three Charles Darwin University (CDU) researchers have been granted $10 000 from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) for a study on a new sustainable wild food enterprise.
Dr Penny Wurm, Tropical Savannas CRC, Dr Sean Bellairs, School of Science and Primary Industries and Dr Naomi Rea, School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems, received the grant, which will explore the sustainability of Australian wild rice.
This project is a pilot study for a larger project investigating the feasibility of a native foods enterprise based on two Australian native rice species, Oryza rufipogon and O. meridionalis.
Dr Wurm explained that the project will determine the milling and processing, nutritional and cooking qualities of rice grain samples from populations of these two native rices.
‘If these grain qualities are found to be favourable, funding will be sought to implement the full project.
‘In collaboration with Indigenous project partners, this would include assessment of the cultural considerations of offering wild rice as a product for tourism, an evaluation of the ecological feasibility of and impact of wild rice harvest and an assessment of the effort, cost and barriers associated with collection and processing,’ Dr Wurm explained.