My family’s diet has really improved
“My name is Hileni from Etale village in northern Namibia. I have six children. My grandmother taught us how to press Marula oil which we traditionally use in food and cosmetics. I started selling Marula oil to local markets in the 1990s. I later became a Marula primary producer for Eudafano Women’s Cooperative in 2006 after seeing the benefits that my neighbours got from selling Marula.
“We collect Marula fruits from our own plots. It takes a month to collect Marula fruits and a month to extract the kernels. I sell about 100kg of Marula kernels per season.
“I spend the money from Marula to pay school fees for my children, hospital fees, purchasing food and other household essential needs. I earn much more from Marula than from any other source. People from my community are protecting Marula trees. Some are also cultivating new Marula trees just like I do.
“My life has changed because I am no longer poor. My family’s diet has really improved. Since getting involved in Marula trade I can now afford a range of other foods such as maize meal, bread, rice, sugar and meat.