A workshop on the ecology, control and economics of Ilala palm (Hyphaene petersiana) in Sengwe Communal Area was held at Mabalauta, south-eastern Zimbabwe, in Sep. 1998. The aims were to compare traditional and participatory methods for the collections of economic data and to explore development options for the Ilala palm resource. An economic stakeholder analysis methodology was used to: (1) identify the stakeholders, their objectives, trade-offs and conflicts; (2) understand the decision-making context and trade-off criteria; (3) identify and quantify costs and benefits; (4) value costs and benefits; (5) compare the economics of alternatives; and (6) analyse decision-making options. There are 2 main uses for the Ilala palm: manufacture of crafts from the leaves and tapping of the sap to make wine. The production of dye from non-palm trees to decorate palm craft is also important. The Ilala palm is further used for food, fodder, shade and thatching. A number of development options for Ilala palm are described. The heavy time demands of participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) on respondents have not been sufficiently highlighted in the past. An example of an optimized PRA sequence is presented. The need to exploit the complementarity of PRAs and questionnaire analysis must be fully exploited.
Mabalauta Working Group. The ecology, control and economics of Ilala Palm in Sengwe Communal Area, Zimbabwe. Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe (2001) 78 pp. [IES Working Paper no. 15]