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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Old Ways, New Ways—Scaling Up from Customary Use of Plant Products to Commercial Harvest Taking a Multifunctional, Landscape Approach

1
School of People Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
2
Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin NT 0810, Australia
3
Farmed Landscape Research Centre, School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(5), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050171
Received: 21 April 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 22 May 2020 / Published: 25 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Roles for Landscape Ecology in Future Farming Systems)
Globally, the agricultural sector is facing many challenges in response to climate change, unsustainable farming practices and human population growth. Despite advances in technology and innovation in agriculture, governments around the world are recognizing a need for transformative agricultural systems that offer solutions to the interrelated issues of food security, climate change, and conservation of environmental and cultural values. Approaches to production are needed that are holistic and multisectoral. In planning for future agricultural models, it is worth exploring indigenous agricultural heritage systems that have demonstrated success in community food security without major environmental impacts. We demonstrate how indigenous practices of customary harvest, operating in multifunctional landscapes, can be scaled up to service new markets while still maintaining natural and cultural values. We do this through a case analysis of the wild harvest of Kakadu plum fruit by Aboriginal people across the tropical savannas of northern Australia. We conclude that this system would ideally operate at a landscape scale to ensure sustainability of harvest, maintenance of important patterns and processes for landscape health, and incorporate cultural and livelihood objectives. Applied to a variety of similar native products, such a production system has potential to make a substantial contribution to niche areas of global food and livelihood security. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural systems; indigenous economic development; production systems; landscape ecology; wild harvest agricultural systems; indigenous economic development; production systems; landscape ecology; wild harvest
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Gorman, J.; Pearson, D.; Wurm, P. Old Ways, New Ways—Scaling Up from Customary Use of Plant Products to Commercial Harvest Taking a Multifunctional, Landscape Approach. Land 2020, 9, 171.

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