WINDHOEK - Marus Nekaro, a conservancy in Kavango West Region, gazetted it recently held its first Devil’s Claw Buying Event in the conservancy.
The buying event was organised by the Maurus Nekaro Conservancy together with the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) Conservancy Support Project. A total of 2107.5 kg of Devil’s Claw was sold to EcoSo Dynamic for N$63 225, 00. This amount was distributed among 49 registered harvesters from the conservancy. The event had a positive outcome, as the harvesters were very satisfied with the N$30, 00 per kilogram price of the day – offered to them by the buyer. This is considerably higher than the N$10, 00 to N$15, 00 per kilogram that they are usually offered by ‘middlemen’ and ‘Bakkie-Buyers’.
Part of the support to Maurus Nekaro Conservancy under the CBNRM Conservancy Support Project entails providing training for contract development and trading for the conservancy committee to be able to enter into fixed contracts with a buyer. This basis resulted in the successful hosting of the buying event. Apart from this above mentioned economic approach, harvesters indicated they are using the tried and tested Sustainably Harvested Devils’ Claw (SHDC) Model to harvest the protected plant. This model ensures that the plant resource is partially harvested for its tubers and allows time for the plant to recover – therefore ensuring communities continue to benefit from this plant resource if harvesting is done properly. The registered harvesters received training from Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) on how to sustainably harvest the Devil’s Claw using the SHDC Model. They added that they will continue following the same model because they also want the future generations to benefit from this precious plant as they are benefiting today. Apart from that, harvesters indicated that they are slicing and drying the sliced tubers in the correct processing procedure to ensure high quality DC using the materials donated to them by NNF.
Devil’s Claw is an Indigenous Natural Product, which is protected by the law and controlled by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). DC is a traditional Southern Africa medicinal plant that has been harvested for its root tubers and used throughout Namibia over the past years. This plant is known for its medicinal properties to treat Arthritis and other diseases of the joints. It also stimulates digestion, and it reduces pain and fever. The plant has become an important product for export to the European market in the past decades – with the biggest exports to France and Germany.
Harvesters are looking forward to the next buying event in 2019 after the harvesting season has opened in April to October 2019, in order to supplement their household income to improve their livelihoods that are heavily dependent on subsistence crop farming. They are happy to realise DC as a potential income generating activity.
2018-12-11 10:42:22 8 months ago