Nurturing Victoria’s Native Food Industry

The Andrews Labor Government will partner with the Federation of Victoria Traditional Owner Corporations to support the development of a native food and botanicals industry in Victoria and support local jobs.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today launched the Djakitjuk Djanga program, which will offer Aboriginal Victorian-owned businesses and organisations grants of up to $200,000 to help establish or expand commercial native plant production.

Djakitjuk Djanga is a Dja Dja Wurrung term that means “Country’s food.”

The program will help Victoria to capitalise on the strong interest in the use of Australian native plants like wattles, native greens, fruits and herbs in cooking, as well as the use of botanicals for cosmetics and personal care products.

However, with only a small number of Australia’s edible and botanical plants in commercial production, the industry remains in its early stages.

Funding under the Djakitjuk Djanga program can be used to hire staff, build technical expertise, or invest in stock, seeds and equipment.

The program will also promote the industry, support future research and help people involved in Native food production share their ideas with people interested in getting involved.

The program guidelines are now available, with applications open from Wednesday 4 March. For more information, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“First Peoples’ agriculture and native food practices have survived for thousands of years – by backing this industry, we’re supporting self-determination and learning valuable agricultural information.”

“We’re proud to support our diverse agriculture sectors to grow and thrive– the Djakitjuk Djanga program will capitalise on the strong interest in native foods and explore exciting and unique Australian flavours and products.

Quotes attributable to the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations chair Jason Mifsud

“The federation is delighted to partner with the Victorian Government.”

“This represents a significant step towards creating an industry that is shaped by and reflects the aspirations of Victoria’s First Peoples, whose generations-long knowledge and practices are fundamental to the industry.”