Diversifying communal rangeland use and benefits: the case of Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) in Bushbuckridge, South Africa

Shackleton, Sheona, Shackleton, Charlie, Mander, Myles, Wynberg, Rachel, Sullivan, Caroline, and Leakey, Roger (2003) Diversifying communal rangeland use and benefits: the case of Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) in Bushbuckridge, South Africa. In: Proceedings of VII International Rangeland Congress, pp. 1-7. From: International Rangeland Congress: Rangelands in the new millenium, 26 July - 1 August 2003, Durban, South Africa.

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Abstract

Treed landscapes characterise most of the rangelands of eastern and southern Africa. In South Africa about 70 % of the entire area of communal rangeland falls within the savanna biome. Some 76 % of the rural population resides within these communal lands and is dependent on the rangelands not just for livestock production, but also for the wide range of goods and services these systems deliver, including wood for fuel, materials for construction and tools, wild foods, medicines and craft materials. Indeed, evidence is emerging that these natural resource products often contribute as much to household income and well-being as livestock, and form part of the overall livelihood portfolio of considerably more households than own livestock (Shackleton, Shackleton & Cousins 2001). The multi-purpose, fruit producing marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea), so characteristic of the semi-arid deciduous savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, is a key resource within the region. Found primarily in the communal rangelands, but also nurtured within fields and homesteads, this species has long held a special place in the livelihoods and culture of rural communities within its distribution range. In this paper, we examine the contribution of this resource to household food security, livelihood diversification and income in the Bushbuckridge district of Limpopo Province, South Africa. We then consider issues relating to the management of this resource and the communal rangelands as a whole. We draw on data gathered from 142 households in four villages in the district, as well as three separate studies on commercial markets for marula, governance and management, and the resource base.

Item ID: 7718
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: Bushbuckridge; Sclerocaryn birrea; South Africa
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2010 04:45
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079999 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820214 Tropical Fruit @ 51%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820299 Horticultural Crops not elsewhere classified @ 49%
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