Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Key to elephant conservation is ’in the sauce’

29.07.2005


Fiery chillies keep elephants out of crops and make a great sauce, African entrepreneurs say



What do hot sauce aficionados and African elephants have in common? They both feel the burn of chilli peppers, the key ingredient for resolving human-elephant conflicts in Africa while raising money for farmers and conservation.

Supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other groups, the Elephant Pepper Development Trust (EPDT) has not only promoted the use of chilli peppers as a means of keeping elephants, buffalo, and other species away from important sources of human food, but has also introduced a viable cash crop to the economy of African nations.


"Chilli peppers are unpalatable to crop-raiding mammals, so they give farmers an economically feasible means of minimizing damage to their investments," said Loki Osborn, project director for the EPDT. "They can be grown as buffer crops to prevent crop-raiding and then be harvested and sold on the world market through the trust."

Osborn originated the idea of Elephant Pepper in 1997, when he found that chilli peppers could be used as a means of stopping elephants from destroying crops in the Zambezi Valley, which straddles the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia. While electric fences and other deterrents are prohibitively expensive, chillies provide farmers with a cost-effective means of warding off the elephants without inflicting them with permanent damage.

Specifically, farmers use chilli peppers to deter potential crop raiders in two ways: as a protective buffer crop to surround core crops of maize, sorghum and millet; and as an ingredient in a spray to drive away animals.

In addition, chillies are currently being used in the production of bottled hot sauces, jams and relishes. Proceeds from these products are donated to the trust to support to the development of chilli growing projects.

"This is a highly creative and effective way to solve a growing problem across the African landscape," said Dr. James Deutsch, director of WCS’ Africa Program. "With the growth of human populations in the Zambezi Valley and beyond, people and wildlife come into more frequent contact than before. Elephant Pepper products are a working example of how the survival of elephants can be reconciled with the livelihoods of farmers."

Since its founding, the Elephant Pepper Development Trust has served up to 250 farmers in the valley, and in 2003, the trust was awarded a $108,000 grant from the World Bank. The trust also formed two companies, the African Spices Company in Zambia, and the Chilli Pepper Company in Zimbabwe. Due to social and economic unrest currently raging in Zimbabwe, the trust’s operations there have ceased, opting instead to continue production in Johannesburg, South Africa.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org
http://www.elephantpepper.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>