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 Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>