A MODEL FOR COMMERCIALISATION OF HONEYBUSH TEA, AN INDIGENOUS CROP
Honeybush tea, produced from species of the leguminous genus Cyclopia, is one of the traditional South African herbal teas with a long history of regional use. Initiatives by researchers in the last 20 years played a vital role in the re-discovery of this product and development of the industry. Currently approximately 200 ha, mostly of C. genistoides and C. subternata, shrubs are under cultivation but to cater for demand, wild-harvesting, especially of C. intermedia, still contributes the major part of the annual production. Economic activity is spread over the fynbos area from the Overberg to the Langkloof and Tsitsikamma. In 1999 the ARC initiated a formal breeding programme to develop improved genetic material for sustainable production. Promising individual plants in commercial plantations of C. genistoides and C. subternata were selected on different farms. Breeding and selection work at the ARC has reached the point where improved genetic material of honeybush can be released to the honeybush industry. In the short term, improved honeybush seed will be released and, in the long term, the goal is to release clones. A model commercialization strategy, paying attention to relevant institute and national policies, was developed as most models available for well-established domesticated crops are inappropriate for indigenous subjects. The model is based on the development of Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to propagate and distribute the improved genetic material. These SMMEs will be developed in rural communities where job creation and alleviation of poverty are much needed. The model, including different IP protection strategies (e.g., Plant Breeders Rights, Trademarks, Geographic Indicators) is discussed.
Bester, C. (2013). A MODEL FOR COMMERCIALISATION OF HONEYBUSH TEA, AN INDIGENOUS CROP. Acta Hortic. 1007, 889-894
Cyclopia, intellectual property, commercialisation model, herbal tea