The Economics Of Production Of A Rare Medicinal Species Re-Introduced In South-Eastern Zimbabwe - Warburgia Salutaris.
Veeman, Terrence S.
Cunningham, Anthony B.
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The bark of Warburgia salutaris, locally known as muranga, is a medicine of great traditional significance in Zimbabwe. However, trees of this species are at or near extinction in the wild in Zimbabwe. In this paper, the economics of the re-introduction of this rare medicinal species in some relatively moist, high altitude sites in south-eastern Zimbabwe are examined. The analysis builds on the information base provided by a recent pilot project of Warburgia re-introduction, as well as on market price data from a survey of current medicinal bark markets and on assumptions regarding the prospective future production and use of Warburgia leaves and bark by farmers and healers. The economic analysis, strongly suggests that expanded Warburgia production, at least on a small scale, in the remote, hilly region of southeastern Zimbabwe is very economically attractive and conducive to improving rural incomes and livelihoods of small-holders. This conclusion holds true in private feasibility terms, for both small-scale farmers and healer-growers, and in terms of social cost benefit analysis wherein seedling subsidies are removed.