The native Kakadu Plum, in demand worldwide for its nutritional and medicinal qualities, has the potential to become a money tree for remote Top End communities.

Story By Kerry Sharp

The extraordinary medicinal properties of a small bush plum growing wild across Australia’s northern tropical woodlands have underpinned the business success of Top End horticulturist David Boehme and his family.
The family runs Wild Harvest NT from Lambells Lagoon, 50 kilometres from Darwin. The venture sources up to 40 tonnes of wild-picked Kakadu plums each dry season and sends them interstate for processing into health-food supplements and nutriceutical products.
The plum, from the abundant Top End and Kimberley species Terminalia ferdinandiana (and also called billygoat plum, gubinge and murunga, depending on where it comes from), has excited the global health-food industry since extensive scientific research started reinforcing its outstanding vitamin C and antioxidant levels about five years ago – though Aboriginal people had discovered its curative powers long before then. Arnhem Land’s traditional custodians were using the olive-shaped fruit to treat toothache, headache, sores and other ailments thousands of years before it came to the attention of the western world for its significant health-promoting properties.

This Story is from Issue #99

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2015