South Africa, with one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, has started growing its own rubber to make condoms. This is after the North American low-water industrial crop guayule was found to grow well locally. It produces latex that provides an impermeable barrier to viruses that cause sexually-transmitted diseases.
The home-grown condom emerges from a pilot processing project by South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC), a client of PRN member Proof Africa. Proof is working with the ARC on communication strategy and developing case studies to highlight the impact of ARC research.
Funds are being raised to help unemployed South Africans to start guayule farms and profitable small-scale entrepreneurial businesses to make condoms and rubber gloves.