Marula beer bears economic fruits
Hundreds of unemployed women in Limpopo have recently discovered that marula beer is more than just a traditional drink; they realised that it could also put money in their pockets.
During the past marula season, women in villages near Thohoyandou in Limpopo collected wild marula fruits and started making beer to sell to locals and people from as far as Gauteng.
Marula fruit ripens between January and March each year and collecting them to brew beer is an age-old tradition. However, women in the area only recently discovered that brewing marula beer could bear economic benefits.
The women from Shakadza, Muswodi, Tshiungani, Tshipise-Zwigodini and other villages outside Mutale near Thohoyandou have been making enough money to help them feed their families.
“We collected marula from the trees and started making the beer, which took three to four days to be consumed by drinkers. We learned how to produce marula beer from our elders who used it for traditional rituals only,” said Julia Mammbeda, one of the producers.
Mammbeda said in the past, women never saw the business opportunity in producing and selling the beer to the locals; they only made marula beer for recreational purposes and gave it away for free. Now it is helping them to fight poverty.
“Today we sell 20 litres of marula beer for as much as R100 and two litres for R10 and we make good money. This is better than being beggars because I can now smile all the way to the bank,” she said.