Partner: Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich
Dates: Started in 2010

Devil's Claw is a traditional southern African medicine that has been used throughout Namibia for centuries, and is a highly sought-after plant. It is used for fighting fever, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, and conditions involving the gallbladder, stomach and kidneys.

Over the years, communities have harvested this indigenous natural product for personal use, as well as sold to other local Namibians in and around the region to earn additional income, or bartered for food. Namibia is currently the largest exporter of Devil's Claw with up to 1,000 tons being harvested, dried and sold internationally annually.

The principal positive social impact from commercial sustainably harvested Devil's Claw harvesting and trade has been the cash income and in-kind benefits earned by thousands of resource-poor and often marginalised harvesters in Namibia who typically have few if any other sources of income. Even though the income and benefits derived are relatively low, they supplement other income sources and diversify livelihoods across these subsistence farming communities. This project supports communities to derive more benefits while sustainably managing this natural resource. 
Proposed Outcomes
Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) is working with five local organisations, including gazetted or emerging community conservancies and community forests in the Kavango Region: Joseph Mbambangandu, George Mukoya,  Muduva Nyangana, Daniel Mpasi Sitentu and Katope, to help sustainably improve all aspects of this Indigenous Natural Product (INP), with a view to increasing income to producers and ensuring its sustainable harvesting. The project will ensure that communities:
  • are set up and organised into structured harvesting groups with ongoing support;
  • are adequately trained in sustainable harvesting methods and resource mapping;
  • have training and support in contract negotiations, pricing, cost management and managing a buying point;
  • have a fair participation of women and vulnerable groups; and
  • create links with regular and fair markets to sell the product.
Read the key reports in Project Downloads above or review all INP project reports at the MCA website