Current population densities of bush mango, bush current, bush peach and red bush apple trees set a limit on both production capacity and harvest efficiency. In addition to the increasing yield and harvest efficiency through fire management practices a long-term wild harvest propagation and cultivation program has been implemented to increase productivity in selected areas.
To achieve this Cultivate NT, in partnership with Miwatj Employment and Participation, has worked with local communities to establish plant nurseries at Rurrangala, Wundawuy and Gurrumurru. Seed stock is collected during fruit harvest and product trials. Germination rates have been improved through a series of germination and seed treatment trials. Rurrangala Bush Produce is currently propagating stocks of bush mango, bush current and red bush apples to increase local fruit yield.
Wild populations have a clustered distribution with significant variation in plant density. Although a small mono-culture orchard is being trailed adjacent to the nursery at Rurrangala the general approach has been to establish larger clusters at the maximum observed plant density to mitigate some of the increase in pest and disease that often accompany mono-culture systems.