Agronomic investigations of Australian native rice species to support Indigenous enterprise development in the Northern Territory, Australia.

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details

Description

The context for this research is that Australian native rice has the potential for cultivation as a high value, culturally-identified, nutritious food but options for cultivation have not been evaluated. The overall research aim of this PhD study is to develop knowledge about the agronomy of Australian native rice to support the commercialisation of native rice by Aboriginal enterprises. It will contribute to developing options for the commercial production of Australian native rice. This project investigates: (1) the best management practices for commercial-scale cultivation of Australian native rice, through optimising the planting season, establishment technique, planting density, water regime, and nutrient management; (2) the influence of these management practices have on the growth rate, biomass, yield, and harvest index of native rice; (3) the variation among different species and accessions of native rice; (4) the grain qualities and nutritional values of O. meridionalis, O. rufipogon and O. australiensis as functional foods; and (5) the impact of organic and non-organic farming on the final yield and value. Growth trials will occur in a mesh enclosed area at DPIR Coastal Plains Research Station, shade houses at the CDU Casuarina campus, and Berrimah Farm at the east of Darwin. Grain quality analyses will be carried out in collaboration with QUT. Results will include a basic economic comparison of the costs and relative value of the different protocols for cultivation of Australian native rice for commercial purposes and options for a variety of suppliers.
Significance: Ultimately these findings will support Aboriginal enterprises to achieve commercial production of native rice by identifying and overcoming agronomic hurdles. Economic development through the sustainable cultivation and harvesting of native rice seeks to provide opportunities to develop small Indigenous enterprises in remote communities in Northern Territory.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date31/03/20 → …