Region/Country: Maluti Mountain foothills, Clarens, South Africa
Type: Wild Harvesting Cooperative, Rosehip Farm
Source: Over 20 tribes in the Maluti Mountain foothills
Rosehip Farm has a central mission: To economically empower the rural communities of Lesotho through the sustainable harvest of a wide variety of medicinal plant species in the area. Founded by Wynand Gericke in 2016, this cooperative works with over 20 tribes in the Maluti Mountain foothills to wild harvest rosehip. Traditionally, members of the community have relied on subsistence agriculture activities for survival, however this has contributed to the depletion of the soil and decline of the local ecosystem health and species diversity. Rosehip is considered an invasive species in Lesotho and readily colonizes much of the land suitable for farming, contributing to the depletion of soil fertility. Rosehip Farm actively combats this issue by harvesting the crop and preventing the spread to other areas.
The effect on the local community is wide reaching, and they give hands on support and education to sustainably harvest a wide variety of medicinal plant species (including rosehip). These species are harvested at different times of the year, creating sustained employment year-round. Additionally, Rosehip Farm equips local communities to plant and harvest a variety of crop species for subsistence use and trade, which provides an additional livelihood strategy for low income households. Their rosehip products are USDA certified-organic and have received rosehip product certifications from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) and ECOCERT.
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