The core production area of the South African nut industry is concentrated in the northern parts of the country. Pecan nuts and macadamias are produced predominantly in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga and groundnuts are farmed extensively in the Limpopo, Free State and North West provinces.
impact on biodiversity
The Cape Parrot is an endemic species to South Africa and is listed as endangered, with only an estimated 1 200 birds left in the wild and a high probability of the species going extinct in the near future. Distribution of the parrot is restricted to the fragmented Afromontane forests of the Eastern Cape, southern KwaZulu-Natal and a relic population (30 birds) in Limpopo province – overlapping with the core pecan nut-producing regions in South Africa. Key threats to the parrot include destruction of habitat, breeding sites and natural food sources, illegal poaching for trade, human-animal conflict and a beak and feather virus.
- In line with BirdLife South Africa’s mission, this project aims to conserve the Cape Parrot through positive interaction with people and development, through the development of a “Cape Parrot-friendly pecan nut” enterprise.
- The project will contribute to bringing together conservation and social development in the Cata community, Eastern Cape.
- The project plans to increase the food source for the Cape Parrots by developing a pecan nut farming scheme in a community situated on the periphery of the Cape Parrot’s habitat. It will provide training and income for members of the community. The project will create awareness of the importance of the Cape Parrot through generating benefits from the conservation of the species.
- The concept is based on the “badger-friendly honey” product and aims to provide an alternative, safe food source for the Cape Parrot by developing a buffer zone between the forest and pecan nut farmers and residents near urban dwellings.
- It will develop a unique commercial enterprise for unemployed local people, providing skills development and alternative income, and develop a positive relationship between the local community and Cape Parrot to off-set any future potential for illegal trade.
- BirdLife SA secured start-up funding for planting an initial crop of seedlings, and to start training local people in horticulture, business management, marketing, environmental education and environmental monitoring. The aim is for community partners to work with retailers who can assist the community in harvesting, packaging, marketing and selling the pecan nuts.
building a biodiversity economy
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