Socio-Economic Issues Related to Warburgia Salutaris: a Powerful Medicinal Plant in Zimbabwe.
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There is a good potential to domesticate high value non-timber forest products. With the demise of Warbugia salutaris the opportunities for planting have arisen. However, medicinal plants are closely connected with the spiritual world and thus tree planting needs to be carefully implemented. African healers believe that Warburgia salutaris treats a plethora of ailments and the tree has a high commercial value on the informal herbal market. Warburgia is threatened with extinction in Zimbabwe. The collapse of traditional institutions during the last two decades, coupled by high demand for the bark on the informal herbal market, has contributed to the decline in the number of known Warburgia trees. Possibilities for increasing the tree’s population include appropriate institutional arrangements and planting. However, a danger with the planting of such a highly valued plant may be that the elite get access to the planted trees, as the poor and non-herbalist’s fail to get access to the seedlings Keywords: Warburgia salutaris, healers and collectors, vendors, uses, availability and decline, market trends and strategies, economic value, institutional arrangements, traditional leaders, tree planting.