Promoting Biodiversity Conservation, Sustainable Healthy Communities and Revitalized Production and Consumption of Traditional Medicinal plants and Health Foods in Chipinge District
Climate changes manifesting in increased frequency of droughts and floods in the area over the past 10 years, threatens to exacerbate biodiversity loss of indigenous medicinal plants and health foods further, so does population growth, agricultural mismanagement, veld fires and poverty which are causing people to exert increased pressure on marginal lands. Globalization has resulted in a painful neglect of valuable indigenous plant and traditional health foods like millet, rapoko, nyeve, black jack, mushrooms, and honey that have great potential to boost nutritional levels and the body’s immune system at very insignificant costs. The target area, ward 16 (Mwacheta) is defined by these challenges and hence the great concern by Traditional Health Foods Trust to arrest biodiversity loss in the ward by protecting the vulnerable plant species and their ecosystems on which they depend.

Promoting Biodiversity Conservation, Sustainable Healthy Communities and Revitalized Production and Consumption of Traditional Medicinal plants and Health Foods in Chipinge District

1. To ensure that appropriate mechanisms for improving and guaranteeing equity in access to, and benefits from medicinal plant resources are put in place
2. To raise public awareness and develop an inventory on traditional medicinal plants and health foods
3. To propagate and promote the conservation, sustainable use and cultivation of endangered medicinal plants and health foods through the establishment of a gene bank and ensure food security through practice of sustainable agriculture
4. To strengthen livelihoods and maintain natural habitat and biodiversity through apiculture activities.

1.1 training on ABS as it relates to genetic resources and Indigenous knowledge so as to broaden the communities understanding of these issues for informed decisions
1.2 develop a prior informed consent form for the researcher and local community/ local knowledge holders
1.3 facilitate the signing of PIC between partners
1.4 Develop ABS guidelines with community
1.5 Biannual review of PIC and ABS
2.1 community mobilization and project awareness creation
2.2 Identification of 5 most reliable local community herbalists, and other herbal experts from partners- EMA, AGRITEX, UZ, FC to act as field guides during the entire project’s data collection activities
2.3 Identification of locally available and known medicinal plants and health foods through a questionnaire survey
2.4 Transect walk in the ward to determine existing medicinal plants and health foods and collection of specimen plants and foods
2.5 Production of fliers, pamphlets and t-shirts for distributions as mechanisms for information dissemination and awareness creation
3:1 fencing of a 0.5 ha plot as the gene bank centre
3.2 construction and furnishing of production sheds and offices
3.3 training workshop on growing, maintaining, harvesting and sustainable use of medicinal plants and health foods
3.4 gathering and purchase of specimens for planting at the gene bank and sinking of 1 deep well
3.5 planting of species and distribution of seedlings to households for establishment of nurseries
3.6 promotion of establishment of household nurseries of medicinal plants and health foods in household fields and gardens
3.7 2 demonstration workshops on conservation farming techniques (zero tillage, rotational cropping, composting, IPM )
3.8 2 demonstration workshops on water harvesting techniques (cisterns, water ponds, earth banks, terraces.)
3.9 Purchasing of small gains seed packs and distribution to participating households
3.10 field shows and visits to certify household application of CA and water harvesting techniques
4.1 mobilising of 9 village based groups and training of group members on ( basic bee biology, the ecological role of bees, methods of attracting honey bees, colony transfer, hive construction, pests and diseases, Sustainable harvesting and processing of honey and its marketing)
4.2 sourcing out and purchase of materials for beekeeping (protective clothing, initial colonies, hive materials, stationery etc)
4.3 construction of hives by the 9 groups
4.4 sustainable honey harvesting and wax processing

A well informed community, with full understanding of its intellectual property rights and benefits
A well informed community on the importance, use and harvesting of medicinal plants
A detailed plant medicines and health foods inventory produced
Specimen seeds and seedlings available.
A local medicinal plants and health foods gene bank established
Increased appreciation of medicinal plants and health foods
Enhanced plant biodiversity and sustainable community health
Availability and easy access of water ;and Increased moisture levels
Increased crop yield and enhanced food security
Reduced land degradation and soil erosion
Enhanced biodiversity conservation
Enhanced community livelihoods
Increased household income

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Project Snapshot

Traditional Health Food Trust
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Operational Phase:
Phase 4
Grant Amount:
US$ 26,924.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 36,300.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 34,400.00
Project Number:
Start Date:
End Date:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
62% of the population in ward 16 is female and this project has 3029 women as active participants in the project. These women will also be part of the decision making process by being integrated into the projects committee. CA and water harvesting will be accordingly dominated by women as they are the managers of most household gardens and fields. These same women will be encouraged to take advantage of the gene bank centre and to be knowledgeable on traditional medicines to help them take care of their family health concerns.
Project sustainability
Communities will realize direct benefits from this project in the form of enhanced livelihoods and improved nutritional diet therefore implementing this project will require minimum external cohesion. The project will also address some of the HIV/AIDS infected and affected nutritional concerns thereby strengthening its sustainability by offering nutritional answers to this killer disease that has challenged the health of many people. The project has a constitution that provides for renewal of leadership, which will ensure survival of the program beyond the lives of individual members. The apiculture will be based on locally available resources and therefore minimizing financial costs.
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