Eudafano Women’s Cooperative and Marula Tree: From Local use to International recognition and Benefit Sharing
Manipal University, Jaipur, India
Volume I – Issue I, 2020
In southern Africa, local communities derive many benefits from the marula tree. These include the contribution of this species to health , nutrition, food safety and conservation through the sharing of local skills and related knowledge. Fresh, squeezed to make juice, brewed in traditional beer or used to make jam and jelly, Marula fruits can be eaten. The kernels are also edible and can be pressed for cooking oil extraction and cosmetics, i.e. for application to skin and hair. The bark, roots , seeds and leaves are exploited for traditional medicinal purposes. Since its fruit and other products have entered the local , regional and international trade in southern Africa, Marula has acquired significant commercial value. Several domestication initiatives have been carried out at regional and international levels in order to diversify fruit production and meet the increasing demands for this resource. Therefore, the accumulated knowledge and skills relevant to the establishment and marketing of marula are an effective guide in areas where marula remains undomesticated or underused. In southern Africa, we discuss the great importance of marula in revealing its great potential to regions where it remains unexploited.
Keywords: Sclerocarya birrea, marula, non-timber forest products, commercialisation, domestication, intellectual property, benefit-sharing, policy