environment flowers garden indigenous medicinal sustainability

Essential Amathole

“Located in the scenic Amathole region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa, Essential Amathole has been established to produce a range of organic essential oils and medicinal plant extracts for the global market”.

Still and nursery in Hogsback

As many of you know, I keep returning to Hogsback, and Essential Amathole is one of the reasons. This initiative follows an incredible approach to sustainable rural economic development in 4 ways. Firstly, it is based on a public-private-community partnership. Participation in this manner allows for equitable, responsible and sustainable development, and is a model that can (and should) be replicated as a priority for any development. Secondly, there are both direct and indirect beneficiaries. Not only is the project addressing severe unemployment in the region, but it has established a community trust that holds 24.8% of the profits, the proceeds of which go into a wide range of community-based organisations and initiatives. Thirdly, the business itself is based on environmentally sustainable methods. All farming is organic and focused primarily on indigenous plants endemic to the Eastern Cape. Finally, it is essential oils so it smells absolutely wonderful!

Here are some pictures I took of the nursery in Hogsback:


Rose geranium nursery

Here are some close ups of the crops:

Rose geranium


Lemon balm

The project is still in its second phase of implementation so there are a lot more exciting possibilities emerging daily. I would highly recommend a visit if you are anywhere near those parts. It is a great example of an environmentally sustainable economic development model. And all the sites smell fantastic!

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