MRP's blog

For the past 3 years DEAT SRPP (Social Responsibility, Policy & Projects) has funded the Mussel Rehabilitation Project (MRP) which has been implemented by Walter Sisulu University along the Wild Coast between Umtata Mouth and Hole in the Wall. Download the video: Mussel Harvest The initiative has, without a doubt, been one of the most successful and effective social responsibility projects in the Eastern Cape. It has not only proven that rehabilitation and controlled harvesting of mussel beds is sustainable, but has literally produced tons of protein rich mussels for the benefit of the local community, while also contributing employment, skills training, environmental awareness, resource monitoring, catch-data collation, and many other vital linkages and benefits. Operating since 2000 under the care and guidance of Zoology lecturer, Dr. Calvo-Ugarteburu (affectionately known by all as “Gugu”), the Mussel Rehabilitation & Food Production Project has been funded variously by Marine & Coastal Management (MCM), WWF, and DEAT SRPP.

(Registered Co-op: 2008/001977/24)
Maphuzi A/A, Coffee Bay, Mqanduli, 5082
Tel: 047-575 9015, Fax: 085-532 3508

Masande Nursery was implemented by the Water Sisulu University with funding through DEAT SRPP - and building of the nursery and office buildings started in April 2007, with seedling production commencing in September 2007.

As a registered local co-op (Masande Crop Production Agricultural Cooperative) serving the Coffee Bay communities and the greater KSD district, we propagate and supply quality vegetable seedlings (spinach, cabbage, onion, butternut, cauliflower, etc.) and fruit trees to our customers at cost effective prices.

Our large production capacity, and volume discount pricing, allows us to supply local commercial farmers very competitively.

[img_assist|nid=419|title=Xolobeni friends at HitW|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=320|height=240]Yesterday we met with a delegation of people from Xolobeni and Mzamba who form part of the "Innovation Programme". They are investigating sustainable development projects to implement around Xolobeni, to prove that the area is self-sustainable; and came to see our Mussel Rehabilitation Project and the Food & Nutritional programme in action.

We started off to Nqutheni (our largest rehabilitation site to date) at about 10.30am, to make it there for low tide at 11'ish. Despite 6m to 8m waves that blew in with the gale from the day before, the site was still fully accessible, and we managed to get a full view of the mussel coverage on the rocks at East Nqutheni, and "rooting" baby mussels in the irrigation pipes - which are cable-tied down to eyebolts drilled into the rocks - on the West.

Machosana: 41 pipes
Nqutheni: 29 pipes
Ocean: holes 176 / 75 pipes
Hlungwana: pipes 32 / holes 295
Mthini / Rhini 197 holes / 59 pipes

(4 Agricultural Trainers added as from beginning June.)

pipes 117
holes 206
gardens 125

7 Mtungula trees from Frans (swapped 7 pawpaw)
16 Hypastia from (Dolf?)

The villagers pictured here are busy digging out a water well in the streamlet that passes by the Kham community garden and supplies its water.

There is surprisingly little water in the stream considering that we had over 50ml of rain in the past week.

The water is pumped up to the garden using foot treadle pumps.

Photos 05/05/08

A drip irrigation system is used at the community gardens.

In the last month the nursery supplied 136 home gardens (with 140 seedlings each), approximately 70,000 cabbage seedlings to farmers... and in addition to that also managed their best month to date in terms of individual sales.

The pawpaw trees which can be seen in the far corner of the nursery (bottom picture) are ready for planting, and delivery of trees to households has commenced.

Click here to view a scanned copy of the Daily Dispatch article.

The Masimanyane Mussel Rehabilitation Project in Coffee Bay celebrated their first official harvest of mussels on Saturday 19th April 2008.

A few years ago there were no mussels on these rocks where participants in the project can be seen harvesting:

The event was attended by tribal leaders, representatives from Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT), Marine & Coastal Management (MCM) & Walter Sisulu University (WSU).