Ipinge wants value addition for devil's claw

12 Sep 2015 10:50am
MANGETTI DUNE, 12 SEP (NAMPA) – The Otjozondjupa Regional Governor on Wednesday called on the government and the University of Namibia (Unam) to conduct research on value addition to devil’s claw, as well as the multiple uses thereof.
Governor Otto Ipinge made the call on Wednesday at the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community Forest offices at Mangetti Dune in the Tsumkwe west area.
Devil’s claw roots are used to reduce pain and fever and to stimulate digestion.
Ipinge on Wednesday met with the leadership of the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community Forest office and was briefed on the business activities of the conservancy.
The conservancy vice chairperson, Sarah Zungu explained that the local San community co-owns the conservancy.
The majority of the San community makes a living by generating income via various tourism-related activities, mostly trophy hunting, in the conservancy.
Zungu said harvesting devil’s claw and selling it to local buyers in raw form has also become a major source of income at Mangetti Dune, which is situated over 180 kilometres east of Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.
The local buyers exporting sliced and dried devil’s claw to various countries where it is in demand for medicinal purposes.
Ipinge then said it will be good for his office to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to request them to consider value addition to devil’s claw before it is exported.
Ipinge said his office will also contact Unam’s research department for it to conduct a case study on the multiple uses of this natural resource.
He added that adding value to the plant before exporting it will automatically create employment.
The governor concluded his week-long familiarisation visit to the Tsumkwe Constituency on Thursday, and described it as successful.
He promised to hold a meeting with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)’s indigenous radio department to ask it to consider extending transmission of the !Ha Radio Station services to the entire Tsumkwe Constituency.
Ipinge indicated that indigenous radio services are crucial for the announcement of government programmes to inhabitants, especially those who reside far from each other.
“Pensioners are suffering because they keep guessing the dates of their pension payouts. There are no mobile telecommunication or radio services at most villages in the constituency,” he noted.
He said his second engagement will be with the leadership of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) about the installation of a quality network in the constituency.
Ipinge also revealed that the tarring of the C44 gravel road between Grootfontein and the Tsumkwe settlement has already been included in the national master plan of the Roads Authority.
The tarring of the Grootfontein-Tsumkwe gravel road is set to start in 2018 according to the national master plan of the Roads Authority, he said.
Ipinge and team also visited local development committee members at Gam, Tsumkwe, Kano Vlei and Omatako village, where he was informed of various activities the committees have so far forwarded to the constituency development committee with recommendations.
The governor was accompanied by his Special Advisor, Moses !Omeb and representatives of ministries such as education, health, environment and tourism, industrialisation, trade and SME development and the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, amongst others.