Some women from Ondjadjahwi village in Ohangwena Region have come together to celebrate the marula season as they look to the fruit as a major source of revenue in light of a massive crop failure from the current drought.
The marula season that is underway concludes at the end of March.
Marula fruit is used to make both alcoholic drinks and juice.
“What else is there to do? The crops are dying and there is nothing more that we can do. It is much better to squeeze marula fruit and make money,” said Elise Amukwaya.
Twenty-five litres of marula alcohol can generate up to N$400, as a litre is sold for about N$15 – N$17.
Squeezing juice from the fruit has become a profession for Amukwaya and other women. Tusnelde Mapele said that apart from extracting juice the marula peels are given to animals as animal feed.
Oil is extracted from marula kernels. The oil is used for cooking and as an ingredient in facial cosmetics.
Paulina Shomwele said there is a big market for marula products.
She said that while the juice is popular around this time of the year the oil can also be sold locally and to other people who manufacture cosmetics.
Marula products are good business the whole year. “You can always make a little profit for your needs around the house and even pay school fees if you have school-going children,” said Amukwaya.
Apart from the sales, the marula season is also seen as an opportunity for villagers to come together.
The fruit take about three to five days to ripen and then the juice is extracted. Once the juice is extracted the juice will be ready for consumption several days later.