Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Baseline study – Agricultural capacity of the Indigenous Estate

Baseline study – Agricultural capacity of the Indigenous Estate
  • First Nations led business development
  • Strategic policy development

Summary

The purpose of the situational analysis is to attain a better understanding of the relationship between First Nations primary production enterprises and the larger Australian primary industries, focusing primarily on agriculture.

The study identifies that:

  • While a significant amount of primary production occurs on the First Nations Estate, a significant majority of this is not undertaken by First Nations primary production enterprises
  • There is still a relatively small, but emerging and unique First Nations primary production industry that is diverse, increasingly financially sustainable, and delivering significant cultural, environmental and social benefits to local First Nations communities
  • There is opportunity to grow the First Nations primary production industry so that it makes a significant and unique contribution to the growth targets of Australian primary industries – beyond what the agricultural industry or the Australian Government have contemplated.

To achieve this mutually beneficial outcome for Australia’s First Nations people and their agricultural industry, a concerted effort needs to be made to better understand:

  • the nature and extent of agricultural production that takes place on the Indigenous Estate
  • the nature and extent of the First Nations primary production industry; opportunities to accelerate First Nations agricultural capability development
  • attraction of social impact and other Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) oriented investment to the emerging sector. This effort needs to be overseen and driven by a multi-stakeholder, mission-oriented industry development governance framework.

Key recommendations include:

  • Establish adequately reliable agricultural, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry economic data pertaining to the Indigenous Estate and Indigenous primary production enterprises.
  • Develop a portfolio of positive First Nations primary industries case studies to generate stakeholder (including investor) confidence in the First Nations primary industry sectors.
  • Engage with the global social impact investment sector to develop a framework for identifying potential flow across First Nations primary production in Australia.

  • Establish a First Nations primary industries taskforce to develop strategies and initiatives to:

    • identify opportunities, and activate primary production from underutilised areas of the Indigenous Estate

    • ​​​​​​​identify and advocate for changes to legislation as necessary to optimally facilitate increased production from the Indigenous Estate and ESG collaborations
    • identify opportunities and develop strategies to optimise market access, enter new markets and develop new products

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