Brandt Coetzee grew up in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and lived there for most of his life. He loved the outdoors and in his early thirties he started to appreciate the value of the different plants in this region.
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry started their battle against invasive alien plants and trees. Brandt was doing research on the utilization of the biomass of these alien plants, when he noticed the animals liked the seeds from these plants.
Brandt proceeded to collect different samples from the different species and processed them into a special mixture. He then sent this mixture to different laboratories within South Africa for analysis.
Armed with all these laboratory results, Brandt did further research into the history of these plants. As the trees originated from the Northern part of Mexico and the Southern part of Texas, Brandt travelled to the USA to do further research.
He then asked the University of the Free State to perform a study specifically relating to the support of “blood sugar control” in the human body. After receiving the positive results of this study, the Glycaemic Index Foundation of South Africa did 2 further studies for him, conclusively showing the effectiveness of this mixture and its “GI lowering effect” on food.
Brandt then took this product to market and named this special Mixture “Manna”.
As the Prosopis tree is an invasive alien tree to the province of the Northern Cape, collecting of the seeds is crucial in controlling the spread of the trees through the province. Normally the seeds are ready for harvest from the beginning of January. Just before the harvesting starts, the community gets involved.
This harvest is one of the few community projects in the region and we are privileged to be part of both the control of alien vegetation and, more importantly, in the development of our community.