Harvesting of the Devil’s claw at the Na Jagna Communal conservancy in the Otjozondjupa Region in North-Eastern of Namibia is yielding economic benefits for the local indigenous San community, said an official Thursday.
Frans Gomeb, Na Jagna Conservancy’s community and forest manager, said that the harvesting and sale of the Devil’s Claw roots remains a great source of income for the majority of local San community, who co-owns the conservancy.
The Devil’s claw, native to Southern Africa, is known for its medicinal benefits and treating arthritis, and has been, historically harvested by the San people.
During 2018, harvesters sold more than 32 tons of the Devil’s claw.
According to Gomeb, the trade is facilitated through the conservancy office and mainly sold to a pharmaceutical company the conservancy contracted about two years ago.
This, he said, is done to avoid exploitation, prevent illegal harvesting as well as for quality assurance.
A 28-kilogram bag of dry and sliced Devil’s claw is sold at about 1,220 Namibian dollars (about 81 U.S.dollars). The funds are paid to the communal harvesters, he added.
Earnings from the harvests are used to meet daily household needs, including the purchase of food and clothing amongst others.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to maximize other tourism activities such as trophy hunting to enhance socio-economic conditions.
The San peoples, also known as the “Bushmen,” are members of various indigenous hunter-gatherer groups that are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa. Enditem