The Magical Morula Nuts

  • SPEDU Pushes Morula Nut Manufacturing Project to Boost Entrepreneurship in Phikwe
  • P3.5m Project to manufacture essential oils from morula nut

Sheilla Moribame

Selibe Phikwe Economic Development Unit (SPEDU) is facilitating an investor that is establishing a new Morula oil extracting plant in Selebi Phikwe. The Wild Morula Oil company will be manufacturing essential oils for the export market. The business case will unlock a unique opportunity that lies within this true organic wild African fruit that grows in abundance in Botswana. It is utilising the abundance of this Botswana natural Bio wealth by engaging the SPEDU communities to pick Morula in the wild and sell for cash. This is an industry that has already started creating jobs through harvesting and will provide more job opportunities as it grows.

The CEO of SPEDU Dr. Mokubung Mokubung stated that, “this is a unique industry that will provide an income stream to rural community members collecting and selling the wild fruits to the processing plant”.

Dr. Mokubung strongly mentioned that, “SPEDU is very excited to be working with the project as they have noticed its business value which includes community upliftment and seasonal poverty relief. Currently the communities within SPEDU Region are collecting Morula and are paid cash on delivery. He said some of the value add about the set-up of this processing plant is its capacity to manufacture high quality cosmetic oils from Morula, Kalahari melon and various other by-products from this value chain which is very unique for both local and export market”.

He further explained that each oil has a specific benefit that makes it unique, and mentioned that the oils that will be processed will be cold pressed, filtered and organic certified and be used in various cosmetics products and natural oils. The Morula oils have a high skin penetration rate used for skin and hair treatment. Although the Kalahari melon process is in phase 2 of the project its supplementary oil has high anti-aging properties and the by product will be used in animal feeds.

The director of wild Marula Oil, Melani Jensen mentioned that they started the project as retired women, “We are very passionate about other women and about the community in which we decided to operate within, which is the SPEDU Region community. The harvesters are women in the rural areas, most of which are unemployed or single parents. We noticed that there is abundant availability of raw materials in this area, which has a zero input cost factor as morula grows in the wild and is very organic”.

The investment value of this project is P3.5 million which will cover operational and capital expenses until the company sustains itself.

The other social economic impact of this project is the fact that the wild growing fruits require no commercial farming methods, which result in zero cost of production to the harvesters.

The company is currently calling for people to collect and deliver the Morula fruit or collect the nuts from the ground. The sellers shouldn’t worry about cleaning the Morula fruits as the processing plant washes all the outside pulp to remain with the nut. They are saying one of the expansion initiatives they are still looking at is to see what they will do with the Morula shell by-product in future as the business expands.