|VPR&D pursues a
holistic approach to the utilisation and management of veld products;
this not only involves the identification of various natural resources with
economic potential but also the development of appropriate processing
technologies so as to increase the value added at village level and the
development of markets for veld products which are non-threatening to the
The sustainable management of veld resources is a key aspect of all
Indigenous Fruit Tree Research. Indigenous fruit trees yield a crop
even in poor rainfall years when arable agriculture fails, thereby improving
food security for rural households. The growing of fruit trees means less
dependence on arable agriculture which, in turn, reduces the workload on
women and also decreases environmental degradation. On average, one year
in three is a crop failure for arable agriculture in Botswana, hence the
importance of indigenous fruit trees. The indigenous fruit trees that
are being domesticated include:
birrea subsp. caffra)
Mmilo (Vangueria infausta)
Morutlwa ( Strychnos
Morojwa (Azanza garckeana)
Research to domesticate
the Kalahari truffle (Terfezia pfeilii) is currently underway.
Commercial Nurseries. VPR&D has established commercial
nurseries, located in the village of Gabane, for
exotic and indigenous fruit trees as well as indigenous ornamental plants.
Mycorrhizae Research. A wide range of mycorrhizae (fungi) occur naturally
in the soil which form symbiotic relationships with plants which assists
the trees to be more drought tolerant and to take up trace elements.
Pests and Disease Control. VPR&D's research is looking into the
viability of both chemical and biological controls of pests and diseases
in indigenous fruit trees after identifying the pests and their natural
Product development .VPR&D's research, with its emphasis on simple
technologies that are appropriate at village level, is developing a wide
range of veld products so as to allow rural people the opportunity to generate
income throughout the year with maximum value added at the village level.
Considerable research has been undertaken in processing indigenous fruits,
Morula in particular, to produce jams, juices and dried fruit products.
Community-based Agroforestry. VPR&D is investigating an agroforestry
system that combines traditional crops, rainwater harvesting and indigenous
fruit trees. Through community participation VPR&D aims to develop a
sustainable, appropriate agroforestry system that will improve food security
and generate income for rural households in semi-arid areas, particularly
in poor rainfall years.
Community-based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM). The foundation
of VPR&D's programming strategy, for economic and environmental development
through the sustainable utilisation of indigenous natural resources, employs
a community-governed system for managing the natural resources. The current
CBNRM project, VPR&D's "CBMIF" project, is the output of a Participatory
Rural Assessment (PRA) exercise which was conducted in three villages in
the Western Kwaneng district.
Buying and Marketing. Because rural communities
experience so much difficulty in marketing their
products, VPR&D is working to establish a regional buying and marketing
Consultancy and Training. VPR&D can undertake consultancies in
the whole spectrum of veld products including identification, marketing,
processing and management. In the near future, VPR&D will also offer
training and information resources services in the growing and care of indigenous
fruit trees and other aspects of VPR&D's activities.
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