NAMIBIA: HARVESTING AND PROCESSING OF INDIGENOUS FRUITS TO SUPPLEMENT DIETS AND RURAL INCOMES
Namibia is a large and sparsely populated country in southwest Africa. Its major domestic crops are millet, maize and wheat most of which are grown in the fertile northern part of the country. A TCP project on the harvesting and processing of indigenous fruits began in 2004. The project helps to improve the use of wild fruit trees to supplement diets and incomes in rural communities.
"Green, fertile floodplains and perennial wetlands mark much of the Caprivi, an extremely narrow, flat strip of land jutting out from northeastern Namibia, wedged between Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The region comprises large areas of grassland and forests, irrigated by the Okavango and Zambezi Rivers whose seasonal flooding forces people to evacuate their homes and lands each year.
The northeastern communities cultivate sorghum, millet and maize on the fertile ground, but the nearby bush and forests have always been an important source of nutritious wild fruits. In the regions of Caprivi and Kavango, about 66 wild fruit tree species have been identified that contribute daily to the diets and income of the local communities, mostly during the rainy season when the crops are not ready for harvest."
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