Our community was hurting after the worst drought in 80 years. A third year of failed maize harvests meant mounting bankruptcies, higher unemployment, and more social unrest. We saw a opportunity to repair some of the damage after a chance conversation about the Kalahari Melon – the only plant that was still growing during the drought.
The beauty oil revolution had started, and someone suggested to us that we check whether the seeds of the melon contain an oil, and what its properties were. The results were simply astonishing! The scientific properties of the oil turned out to be simply excellent – extremely rich in natural Vitamin E (we are yet to find another oil that even comes close) and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), we had a fantastic new product from an indigenous plant that still grows, even as climate change marched over our farm.
Crucially, we now have a tool for economic redevelopment—for our farm and our community. We have been developing our product and its market ever since and we hope that the success of this ingredient in the international marketplace will bring back the industry and employment in our region that was lost to the effects of climate change.