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Amarula collections to go ahead


Heidi Lee Smith

Rumors about the buying of maroelas at the Amarula factory being halted are not entirely true, this is according to Chris Prinsloo, manager of Mirma Products better known as the Marula Factory in Phalaborwa.

Chris explained to Kruger2Canyon that while it is true that Bio prospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing (BABS) permits supplied by the Department of Environmental Affairs are now needed for the collection of Marula fruit, the process is underway and will be in place in time for the two-week buying period starting 3 February 2020.

Harvested marula fruit

 

The factory manage all the applications for the required BABS permits and no collector is burdened with the process. One of the requirements in obtaining the BABS permit is to enter into an agreement with the local authorities. In this instance: with the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality, for the areas Phalaborwa, Namakgale and Lukekani. In surrounding Traditional areas, the same agreement must be entered with the traditional leaders. This is to oversee and ensure fairness to all involved communities.

Transporting marula fruit

 

Chris agrees that the process to get the agreement signed by the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality was delayed. ‘It was initiated in September 2019 by Mirma Products and is not yet finalized,’ he said. According to feedback from the municipality to Chris, the signing needs council approval and will be finalised no later than 30 January 2020.

According to Chris, this year is a late but good marula season, hence the delay wouldn’t have any effect on availability of marula fruit and operations at the Marula Factory.

Some of the workers that pick up the marula fruit

The factory is gearing up with the hiring of trucks, drivers and collection crates etc for the two-week buying period that will last from 3 to 14 February.

‘The Marula Factory has always supported the community in the past and this year will be no exception,’ Chris assured Kruger2Canyon.