Markets For Three Bark Products In Zimbabwe: A Case Study Of Markets For Bark Of Adansonia Digitata, Berchemia Discolor And Warburgia Salutaris
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Markets for craft and medicinal products derived from the bark of three tree species were assessed in rural and urban areas of Zimbabwe. Bark crafts from Adansonia digitata (baobab) are widely sold in these regions. The number of sellers has increased since the 1980s and has remained relatively stable since then. Competition for local purchasers is provided by domestic and imported substitutes. Most baobab craft items are relatively bulky and the export market for them is largely limited to affluent travellers from South Africa. This is a relatively localized market. Seasonality in baobab craft production and sales is pronounced in the rural area. Prices are transparent and arbitrage appears to occur. This is not the case in the markets for the bark of Warburgia salutaris, which is used as a traditional medicine. There are relatively few sellers, prices do not exhibit regionally consistent patterns and this species appears to have become locally extinct. Bark of Berchemia discolor is not highly commercialised in this region; no sales of this bark were observed in the course of the study.