All across sub-Saharan Africa rural communities, and especially women, are harvesting natural products for income generation purposes. In recent times, the degradation of ecosystems in terms of loss of biodiversity has become a major concern, especially when the harvesting of the species in question has become commercialized as is the case of marula harvesting in Swaziland. This chapter reports on some of the findings of a study conducted to explore the impact of commercial harvesting on the future availability of marula. If current levels of harvesting are unchecked, overconsumption or even depletion of marula in Swaziland will deepen the existing poverty levels among the rural poor, particularly women, who are proportionately more dependent on marula for their livelihoods.
Part of the book: Selected Studies in Biodiversity