Rural women cultivating, harvesting, processing and marketing marula tree products
The women-led initiative Marula Zimbabwe trains local women to produce, process, quality control and market marula tree products. The fruit, bark, juice, skin and leaves of this native plant are used to produce a variety of products, such as jam, wine, dried kernels, oil, nuts, herbal powder and soap. The Development and Finance Institute for Rural Women Trust (DFIRWT) encourages women in the Chivi District in Southern Zimbabwe, grouped as Marula Zimbabwe, to generate additional household income by processing traditional marula tree products. As well as receiving advice on production and processing, the female entrepreneurs are trained in finance, business management, savings and credit. Marula Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the Zvishavane Water Project (ZWP), has successfully acquired two hydraulic oil-pressing machines and ensures consistent product quality through sampling, etc. Such quality monitoring is essential in order to achieve a high quality of the products, especially the oils, and thus to market marula products effectively. The initiative also works with PhytotradeAfrica, a regional trade association, which carries out product research and development as well as providing links to markets for the initiative’s finished products. International marketing of marula products is also planned.
The Development and Finance Institute for Rural Women Trust (DFIRWT) is the initiator of the project and is responsible for developing entrepreneurs and training them in business management and financial planning.
The Zvishavane Water Project (ZWP) facilitates planning, training and quality control. It has provided in-kind support in the form of hydraulic oil processing machines.
Phytotrade Africa is a regional trade association that others information and advice on research, marketing and product development. It can provide the initiative with links to local and international markets.