Swazi Indigenous Products is a member-owned natural seed oil enterprise that provides jobs and income to local women, while also protecting the ecosystems of the Lubombo region of the country. Local women are supported to sustainably cultivate and collect wild marula, trichilia, and ximenia tree seeds. The women-led initiative also runs a tree-planting program and offers environmental education training for its over 2,400 seed collectors. Environmental education focuses on the threats of over-grazing, soil erosion and unsustainable harvesting methods.
Seed oils are used to produce skin care products. To capture a greater share of the market supply-chain, the group created its own line of skincare products, Swazi Secrets. The enterprise has paid out more than USD 396,000 to its members over the last seven years. Additional incomes from seed collection have helped to offset healthcare and education costs, and improved the status of women in decision-making processes.
Click here to read about Swazi Indigenous Products' national awards ceremony.