EcoProducts - Baobab Oil Project
The Baobab is one of the oldest and most majestic trees in Africa. Its boughs reach up into the clear African sky and its roots extend deep into the earth.
The warmly coloured oil extracted from baobab seed is a tribute to these ancient African trees. Well known as an excellent moisturizer, baobab oil is one of natures best kept secrets.
EcoProducts works with communities who live in the Pafuri area, one of the the poorest and most underdeveloped parts of South Africa. Households are often headed by women, who have to support large extended families. There are few jobs in this area and local people rely on subsistence agriculture and social grants for their survival. Thus, working directly with these communities, brings much needed economic benefits.
EcoProducts has developed relationships with several villages. Each village is visited once a month in order to give harvesters enough time to collect fruit. Rural women, even if they are unemployed, have a full day: tilling fields, collecting firewood and water, cooking food, looking after children and meeting social and tribal responsibilities. In some villages, a micro-economy has established around these collection days: fruit vendors arrive, non-perishable foodstuffs are sold between villages and goods that are difficult to get in the area are bartered. The sale of baobab fruit and seeds has already become an important source of income in these areas.
EcoProducts is working with traditional leaders to protect trees and encourage sustainable harvesting. Historically Baobab fruits were used as a food source and for this reason the trees where protected by cultural by-laws. In present times the fruits are no longer eaten and the tree is loosing its importance. Now, despite provincial and national legislation protecting Baobab trees, trees are being cut down to make way for fields, roads and houses. Through the sale of Baobab products we aim to reverse this trend.
EcoProducts has started a tree planting program in villages in order to boost the population of baobab trees for future production. This is a long term project as trees only start bearing fruit after about 20 years. Baobab trees can live for over 500 years and they continue to bear fruit for most of their lifetime.
Eco Products Baobab oil is pure, organically produced, cold pressed, unrefined, non-toxic and has no additives. The EcoProducts range of Baobab Oil and beauty products are available for sale at Pafuri Rivercamp.