Baobab project to benefit rural women

A project to market products from the Baobab tree in the USA has just received $99,950. Zimbabwe will participate with other SADC countries in the Southern Africa Baobab Initiative.

Funding from the Southern Africa Trade Hub is expected to stimulate trade in baobab products which will benefit many, particularly women who are the key harvesters of baobab fruit in many SADC countries.

The Baobab (Adanansonia digitata) is regarded as the “Tree of Life”. Its “superfruit”. seeds are pressed to produce premium cosmetic oil and the powder (pulp) is utilized for the food and beverage sector.

Described as the flavour of 2011, the powder contains more calcium per mg than milk, more antioxidants than Goji berry, as well as 50% dietary fibre (soluble and insoluble) and trace minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium and Iron. Products already launched include smoothies, energy bars, juices, and body lotion.

The global trend towards the increased use of natural ingredients and organic and fair trade certified products will benefit the project.

PhytoTrade has been facilitating the development of new active natural ingredients from southern Africa, dealing with the regulatory hurdles for access into global markets, and ensuring a reliable, high quality and sustainable supply chain, with fair trade, ethical and organic certification.

Members of PhytoTrade Africa have developed the capacity to produce quality natural ingredients and are able to fulfill international export orders. Most of PhytoTrade’s baobab is supplied by TreeCrops of Malawi. Other countries significantly participating in the baobab industry are Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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