In 2018 Parceval started a pilot project in Limpopo to collect a tree seed which may have potential as a pre-cursor for a pharmaceutical drug. The seed collection is conducted on behalf of a European partner. As the seed needs to be exported to Europe, an ABS permit is required, and benefit sharing was signed with 3 communities in 2018. These communities were happy with the income earning opportunity afforded by wild collection of the seed, however, as part of the benefit sharing, they asked if the partners could also support the establishment of a tree nursery within the community to add value in the form of conservation (community “greening”) and employment.
In 2019, Parceval started to discuss a new project around the tree seed with sponsors – the BioInnovation Africa programme. Establishing nurseries and community cultivation was top of the agenda. The project was structured with a strong community participation:
- Establishment of nurseries
- Incentives paid for surviving seedlings
- Planting out saplings in communities
Parceval received the funding in late 2020 and by the end of 2020 more than 2000 seeds had been germinated and were supplied in seedling bags. A simple nursery has been established in one community within a fenced primary school (cement foundation, shade cloth, water tank) and 1000 plants were delivered. In a second community, 10 tree guardians were selected by the village community development trust to look after 100 plants each. They were selected on the basis of having access to fenced land and water. The nursery and tree guardians are paid an incentive for every sapling that survives. Thus far over R14,500 have been paid out to communities in incentives.