Reinforcing alternative economies: Self-motivated work by central Anmatyerr people to sell Katyerr (Desert raisin, Bush tomato) in central Australia

S Holcombe, Peter Allan Yates, Fiona Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


    This paper examines an alternative economy in the Anmatyerr region of central Australia, with reference to the 'hybrid economy' concept. We argue that this concept has application in recognising emerging Aboriginal economies surrounding the utilisation and management of natural resources. In particular, we examine the 'bush harvest' of one species - where Aboriginal people sell Desert raisin (Katyerr or Bush tomato) to traders who then on-sell to manufacturers and retailers. This seasonal economy intermittently injects relatively significant amounts of cash into households (but unaccounted for in census figures). Although some groups have been selling bush harvest produce for up to 30 years, it is increasingly gaining momentum with a larger market developing. Yet, there is a risk that this burgeoning market and the mainstream interest in horticulture will fail to recognise the value of local Aboriginal motivations that drive the customary harvest activity. Nevertheless, there is increased federal government recognition, via the Central Land Council, of the value of Aboriginal people as local land managers; as rangers. This in turn has provided resources to promote and encourage this harvest through the recognition of Aboriginal land management practices, such as seasonal burning to encourage the crop's growth. � Australian Rangeland Society 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-265
    Number of pages11
    JournalRangeland Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2011


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