Training for Collecting & Selling Native Seed – RIG News #16
Seed collection, sales and procurement – training and enterprise opportunities
Training for Collecting & Selling Native Seed
Over the years Greening Australia has developed training modules on how best to collect and handle native seed for revegetation (http://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/index.php?nodeId=106).
Courses are tailored to a range of needs. GA, through its Florabank service (http://www.florabank.org.au/) offers a four day course for professional seed collectors seeking to upgrade their skills with the latest from CSIRO and other researchers. GA also offers a one day course for community groups in farming areas of southern Australia. With support from AgriFoods Skills Australia (http://www.agrifoodskills.net.au/), GA has developed and piloted a two day course for seed buyers targeting the mining sector. Once the materials are finalised and approved by AgriFood Skills Australia, GA will market the course widely.
For Indigenous Groups, Greening Australia has developed a seed collection unit as part of their Aboriginal Landcare Education Program (ALEP) (http://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/our-projects/people/aboriginal-landcare-education-program). This unit covers the collection, cleaning and storage of seed and is aimed at a 20 nominal teaching hours module. A useful companion module is ALEP Learning Guide # 3 which is about recognizing plants. The set of 14 ALEP Learning Guides were developed through many years of delivering land management training in remote Indigenous communities in the NT. The “Safe Houses” project is a recent example of where the training was provided in 16 remote NT communities in conjunction with the on-ground landscaping around the houses.
The Learning Guides are aimed at Certificate Level 2 students but the content is relevant to other levels and informal training situations. A number of Indigenous communities have set up plant nurseries and collect their own seed to propagate through the nursery. There is an increasing interest in developing ‘bushtucker’ gardens both in communities and in schools. Greening Australia in Darwin has recently assisted a number of Darwin schools in the development of gardens that feature traditional food plants.
Indigenous communities are in an excellent position to do contract seed collecting. They have access to their land and they are on the spot to monitor fruiting and seed ripening. This can be quite variable from year to year. Cleaned seed is quite variable in price and dependent on how easy it is to collect and how heavy the seed is. Hard to collect species can fetch up to several hundred dollars per kg of seed. Greening Australia NT is interested in purchasing local seed from Indigenous groups provided the seed meets our requirements.
There are clear opportunities to partner in the provision of training and the development of income streams based on the natural resources on Indigenous land.
Story thanks to Dr Greg Leach, CEO, Greening Australia NT & David Freudenberger, Chief Scientist, Greening Australia.
For further information on the ALEP Learning Guides contact GA in Darwin (email@example.com or 08 89473793).
From: RIG News #16 – December 2011