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28 Oct 2022
Members of the Matchia community have harvested their first chillies, to the delight of all involved.
The Matchia chilli project was designed by *Peace Parks Foundation in 2011, with technical assistance from Piri Piri Elefante Moçambique. The general objective of the project is to improve the conservation of biodiversity in Maputo Special Reserve, in the Lubombo TFCA, through the creation of alternative livelihoods for the local communities.
The second objective is to support the Matchia community in improving their living conditions and income generation means. The project therefore supported a group of farmers from the local communities who would produce chillies. It also supported their organisational and operational capacity in order to improve the families’ income and promote local development.
The total investment was $79 215, of which $49 715 was funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Tourism and the Community Enterprise Fund.
Peace Parks Foundation donated $29 500, which funded the technical assistance of Piri Piri Elefante Moçambique.
Currently 35 people are working on the project, 21 of whom are women.
For the first phase, three hectares were prepared and 20 000 chilli shrubs planted. This will be extended over time. The expectation is to harvest 12 tons per hectare. In terms of life cycle, each shrub can be harvested four to six times.
The market for the chillies is insured, as Nando’s and Tobasco signed an agreement with the communities to buy all the chillies, at a price mutually agreed upon.
Potatoes, maize, pumpkin and onions were also planted for the communities’ consumption. This means that the community members are farming all the time and also have vegetables to eat while they earn a living from the chillies. In all, a success story!
Story and photographs by Tiago Nhazilo
Community Development Technical Adviser
Maputo Special Reserve
Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area
*In 2005 the Mozambican government asked Peace Parks Foundation for assistance with its community development strategy in the Matutuine District, with the technical and professional training of community members as one of the goals. The Foundation appointed a community development technical adviser to implement the strategy, which aims to bring about the sustainable economic development of and benefit-sharing by communities living in and around Maputo Special Reserve through a consultative and participatory process that will also develop nature-based tourism and conservation enterprises.