INTEGRATING THE INDIGENOUS KEI APPLE (DOVYALIS CAFFRA) INTO A LOCAL PERMACULTURE VEGETABLE HOME ECO-GARDENING SYSTEM AMONG RESOURCE-POOR HOUSEHOLDS IN A SEMI-ARID ENVIRONMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA
Home gardens are being encouraged as a way of promoting household food security among poor households in South Africa. The Kei apple (Dovyalis caffra) is indigenous to southern Africa but is dominant along the Kei River in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Its fruits are highly nutritious due to their extremely high content of vitamin C, amino acids, polyphenols and antioxidants. Apart from its promising economic and food security values, the Kei apple tree is important in biodiversity conservation, especially in rural areas. Kei apple tolerates both drought and saline conditions and plays an important role in the farming systems of small scale farmers in semi-arid areas. The multi-purpose nature of the tree makes it ideal for agro forestry. The eco-garden system was designed to enhance ecosystem health, including biological activity, and minimises the use of external inputs such as synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Irrigation water is released to circular beds on which different vegetables are grown. The Kei apple tree is grown in the centre of the bed and crops are rotated around it. It was concluded that the eco-garden system is an appropriate technology for resource-poor households since it optimised the use of water, nutrients, labour and solar energy.
Materechera, S.A. and Swanepol, H.R. (2013). INTEGRATING THE INDIGENOUS KEI APPLE (DOVYALIS CAFFRA) INTO A LOCAL PERMACULTURE VEGETABLE HOME ECO-GARDENING SYSTEM AMONG RESOURCE-POOR HOUSEHOLDS IN A SEMI-ARID ENVIRONMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA . Acta Hortic. 979, 225-232
agroforestry, biodiversity, food security, indigenous fruits, home gardens, permaculture, sustainability, vermicomposting