The Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) has recently joined forces with the Indalo Nursery in the Eastern Cape to empower the community owned business to reach even greater heights in the future. Based in KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage, the business was started by a group of residents who are passionate about nature.
As a fundraiser and grant-giving organisation, CCFA has identified the integral role that the diverse communities adjacent to protected areas play in maintaining a cohesive ecosystem between man and his natural environment. As a result, they focus their attention on educating and empowering local communities, which can then play a role in preserving nature and wildlife. This is the reason why CCFA has joined forces with Indalo Nursery.
The partnership was the perfect match for both partners. According to Di Luden from CCFA, the organisation decided to help the nursery grow their business. “We see this eventually growing into something whereby we can get the community members involved. For now we help them with their business plan, mentor, and currently sell their pot plants in our hotels,” Luden says.
Indalo was borne of a passion by its founders to see the Xhosa culture and conservation of the Eastern Cape become a unified space where land and culture are conserved and retained for future generations.
While the business is small and still developing, there are lots of plans to grow and expand in the future. Apart from the establishment of the indigenous and medicinal nursery, a Xhosa cultural education centre focusing on medicinal plants and healing will be created.
Long-term plans to start a Xhosa traditional eatery and coffee shop will be perfect for families and friends from the local community looking for a bite to eat, or simply seeking a place to unwind.
The nursery aspires to produce plants for sale not only to the public, but also to traditional healers,
and to provide stock for the landscaping industry.
The founding members and directors of Indalo share many years of experience between them. They are all employed by the Hopewell Conservation Estate by Mantis. This 3 100ha nature reserve and estate is situated to the south of KwaNobuhle on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth and is home to a variety of wildlife, including giraffe, eland and Cape mountain zebra. Because of their mixed vegetation types, ranging from grassy fynbos plains to subtropical thicket and deep riverine valleys, more than 160 bird species occur on the estate. Indalo will also be able to use the estate as a base for guided educational walks and tours.
To raise funds to assist Indalo Nursery, CCFA is planting spekboom (Portulacaria afra) trees. For every R120 raised, CCFA will plant a tree. Spekboom is abundant in the Eastern Cape and the Sundays River Valley, and is known as a carbon sponge. It is said that a single spekboom can remove up to 100 times more carbon from the atmosphere than a pine tree of a similar size.
CCFA is a project partner with the Wilderness Foundation Africa, the TUSK Trust and African Parks.
For more information, visit www.ccfa.africa or www.ccfa.africa/support/plant-a-tree /
Written by René de Klerk
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