Approximately 800 San communal harvesters in both the Nyae Nyae and Na Jaqna conservancies in north-eastern part of Namibia this year sold over 32 tons of devil’s claw for their livelihood.

The dried tubers sales generated a combined income of close to 2 million Namibia dollars (143,000 U.S. dollars), said Nyae Nyae Development Foundation’s Lara Diez in a statement on Wednesday.
The devil’s claw, known for its effective treatment of arthritis, has one of the oldest histories in the commercialization of any indigenous natural plant product in the country and the San community harvest the products.

According to Diez, the devil’s claw from both conservancies is certified organic through annual inspections which ensures sustainability, traceability and quality standards.

“This compliancy has seen the price per kilogram paid directly to harvesters more than double since 2011,” she said.

In an area with few employment prospects, Diez said the income from the sales is an important source of much-needed supplementary cash.

“We are happy with the price that we get paid because the money helps us to buy things, food, clothes that we need. If we do not get money from selling Devil’s Claw we will die because as women we do not have the opportunities like men to earn income from small jobs,” said N/haokxa Kaqece and Xoan Kxam/oo harvesters, from the village of Ben se Camp.

As a means of survival and income generating initiatives, the San conservancy members have been harvesting and selling devil’s claw in an organized manner for more than 10 years.

The San ‘Bushmen’ people are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. Genetic evidence also suggests the San people are one of the oldest peoples in the world. Their home is in the vast expanse of the Kalahari desert in southern Africa. Enditem

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