Noel Maxwell OETTLE "Agro-ecological rooibos production"

590 views
434 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
590
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
24
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Noel Maxwell OETTLE "Agro-ecological rooibos production"

  1. 1. Sustaining livelihoods, caring for theplanet: An agro-ecological approach to rooibos production Contribution to the Special Session “Agroecology as a powerful tool for the development of drylands” Noel Oettle Environmental Monitoring Group, South Africa
  2. 2. At the northernextremity of the CapeFloristic Region, in thearid west of SouthAfrica an isolatedfarming communitydescended from the‘first people’ appliesagro-ecologicalapproaches inproducing a tea fromindigenous Aspalathuslinearis, or rooibos
  3. 3. Woman farmer Tempes Fortuin with asheaf of her freshly harvested rooibos
  4. 4. Small-scale farmers of the Suid Bokkeveld joinedtogether in 2001 to form a co-operative that promotesand exports their product as an ecologically-soundproduct made in the traditional manner
  5. 5. Processing the green rooibos on the tea court: naturalenzymes transform the tea from green to red before it is dried
  6. 6. Spreading out the transformed rooibos to dry in the sun
  7. 7. Developing market-linked ecological agriculture• Identification with nature and tradition pre-disposed these farmers to ecological approaches• Market incentives for organic products via the Fair Trade market promoted ecological agriculture• Certification, knowledge sharing and education enhanced the understanding of ecological processes in rooibos production
  8. 8. Promoting Heiveld Rooibos Tea at the BioFachOrganic Trade Fair in Nuremberg, Germany
  9. 9. Social context: marginalised people who have experiencedmultiple poverties since colonialism dispossessed theirforebears of land (land access is still severely limited forpeople of indigenous descent)Environmental context: richly biodiverse ecosystem whoseplant riches etc. are being depleted by modern, mono-culturalagriculture
  10. 10. Biologically diverse and well-adapted endemic wildrooibos has increasingly been replaced by plantations
  11. 11. Within a Participatory Action Research context, farmers answered their research questions with scientists:• Can we verify that wild rooibos is more resilient to drought and climate variability?• How can we use the wild resource sustainably and profitably?• What can we do to increase the resilience of our farming systems that produce cultivated rooibos?
  12. 12. Following 3years ofresearch onmanagement ofwild rooibos, theoutcomes of theresearch werecondensed intoa farmers’handbook
  13. 13. Heiveld members harvest their wild rooibos in accordance withscientifically verified practices based on pre-existing local knowledge
  14. 14. Burning trial plots in old veld in autumn 2009
  15. 15. Wild rooibos seedlings emerge after the first winter rains
  16. 16. A mature wild rooibos plant re-sprouts after the fire: these plantsare far longer-lived than cultivated rooibos (>50 years vs. <5 years)
  17. 17. Surveys of species and plant cover are conducted annuallyBlomfontein Burn Control Burn Control Limeum africanum * Plot A (sw) Plot B (nw) Plot C (ne) Plot D (se) Lobostemon argenteus * * * * *Species Apr 2009 2010 2011 Apr 2009 2010 2011 Apr 2009 2010 2011 Apr 2009 2010 2011 Lobostemon echioides * * * Macrostylis squarrosa 1 * 1 1 1 1 * * * *Adenogramma glomerata * * * * 1 * * * * * * * Metalasia densa 1 * * * * * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1Aizoon sarmentosum * * * * * Metalasia fastigiata * * * *Albuca cooperi * Moraea fugacissima * * *Anthospermum spathulatum * * * 1 * * * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Moraea cookii * * * *Arctotis cf. bellidifolius * * * * Moraea fugax * *Aristea dichotoma * * * * * * * * * * * Nemesia anisocarpa * * * * * * * *Aspalathus linearis * 2 2 * 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 * * * * Oxalis flava * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Athanasia cf leptocephalaBabiana engysiphon * * * * * * * * * * * Oxalis luteola * * * * * * * *Babiana mucronata * * Oxalis obtusa * * * * * * * * * * * *Centella tridentata * * * * Pelargonium coronopifolium * * * * *Chlorophytum undulatum * * * * * * * * * * * Pelargonium longifolium * * * * * Pelargonium scabrum * *Chlorophytum viscosum * * * * * * * * * * * * 1 * * * * * * * * * * Pelargonium triste 1 1 * *Chrysocoma ciliata 1 * * * 2 * * * * * 1 1 1 1 1 1 Pentaschistis curvifolia * * * * * * *Cliffortia teretifoliaCotula nudicaulis * * * * * * * * Pentaschistis patula 2 2 2 1 * 2 2 1 * * * * * * * *Crassula fascicularis * * * * * * * * Phylica rigidifolia 1 * * *Crassula filiformis * * * * * * * Polpoda stipulacea * *Cyphia dentata * * * * * * * Polycarena batteniana * * * * *Diascia elongata * * * * Rafnia cf alata * 1 1 * 1 1Dimorpotheca tragus * * * 1 * * * Rhus dissecta * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Chenopodiopsis hirta * * * * * * Ruschia dichroa * * * * * *Disperis circumflexa * * * * Ruschiella lunulata 1 * * * 1 * * 1 1 1 1 * * * *Ehrharta thunbergii 1 2 1 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 Senecio sp * * * * * * * * *Erica rigidula * * * Stoebe fusca 1 * * * 1 * 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2Euclea lancea * * * * * Struthiola leptantha * * * *Euphorbia tuberosa * * * * * * * * * Tetragonia hirsuta * * * * * *Felicia dubia * * * * * * Tetraria cf. picta * * * * *Ficinia bulbosa 1 1 * * Thamnochortus platypteris 2 * 1 2 2 3 3 * * 1 1Ficinia indica * * * 1 * Trachyandra cf. falcata * * * * * *Ficinia laevis * * * * * * * * * * * * Trachyandra divaricataGladiolus alatus * * * * * * * * * Trachyandra gracilentaGladiolus caryophyllaceus * * Ursinia anthemoides * * * * * *Helichrysum micropoides * * * * * Ursinia sp (perennial) * *Helichrysum moeserianum * * * * * * * * * * * * * Wachendorfia multiflora * * * * *Heliophila sp * * * * * * * * * * Wahlenbergia sp nov (sp 3) * * * * * * *Hermannia scabra * * * * Wahlenbergia tenella * * * *Hesperantha paucifolia * * * Willdenowia glomerata 2 * 1 * * * * * * 2 2 3 3Ischyrolepis gaudichaudianus 1 * * 1 1 1 1 * * * * Cannomois parviflora *Ischyrolepis monanthos 3 * * * * 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 Microdon dubius *Isolepis marginata * * * * * * * Zygophyllum pygmaea *Lachenalia elegans * Schizodium flexuosum *Lampranthus pakhuisensis * * * * * Ornithogalum cf thyrsoides * *Leucadendron pubescens 1 * * * * * * * * * Pharnaceum cf lineare *Leucadendron sheilae 1 1 dead Gymnodiscus capillaris *
  18. 18. Zygophyllum pygmaea Microdon dubiusPelargonium longifolium Species previously unrecorded on the site subsequently emerged
  19. 19. Long term monitoring of the fire trials provides the basis for management decision-making
  20. 20. Farmer innovation in rooibos cultivation and SLM• Traditional practices have been enhanced by knowledge exchange and practical experimentation• Combinations of direct seedling, sowing nurse crops of cereals, retaining organic material and establishing buffer strips have enhanced production despite low and variable rainfall (100 – 250 mm per annum)
  21. 21. Participatory scientific researchdemonstrated that solitary beesand wasps provide pollinationservices to rooibos plants (andwasps also control pests) These insects require specific undisturbed habitats (old wood, wetlands, etc)
  22. 22. Shelter belts of natural vegetation maintain biodiversity in cultivated areas,controlling soil erosion and providing habitat for pollinators and predators
  23. 23. Keeping an eye outfor rodents: naturalcontrol of problemanimals
  24. 24. Simple but effectivetechnology provides a perchfor the owls, and their scatprovides the evidence of theircontribution to controllingrodent numbers
  25. 25. In conclusion …….• The socio-cultural heritage of the farmers predisposes them to agro-ecological agriculture• The Co-operative has been a vehicle for enhancing sustainable production practices via market-facing incentives and capacity development• Participatory scientific research has verified and enhanced traditional agro-ecological practices• People’s identity, self-sufficiency, livelihoods and sense of self-worth have all been enhanced
  26. 26. Thank you!!

×