Government lifts ban on Devils claw harvest

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Government lifts ban on Devils claw harvest

Sesheke, June 14, ZANIS ——Government says it has taken a deliberately action to empower its people with skills, knowledge and capacity to harvest, process and trade in the Devils Claw. 

Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary Daisy Nkhata Ng’ambi disclosed this during a flagging off meeting of the devils claw harvesting season for 2013 in Sioma district of Western province yesterday.

Ms Ng’ambi said that the devils claw can generate more than KR500, 000 for every 50 tons of well regulated good quality processed product.

She said that beyond what is known in the forest, she appreciates that there are treasures of nature which if well exploited can contribute to the well-being of people and the development of Zambia.

Ms Ng’ambi has been saddened by the prior to the present occasion, where people exchanged poorly processed devils claw per kilogram for a loaf of bread or old clothing called Salaula.

“This is a very sad and unfortunate development which I am personally unhappy with and you should not encourage it anymore,” she said.

Last year, the government had imposed a ban or moratorium on the harvesting and trade of devils claw to put in place measures to safeguard this important forest resource.

Ms Ng’ambi and her entourage’s visit is also to promote sustainable forest management so that this important forest resource should not only benefit the present but also the future generation.

The Lands and Natural Resources Permanent Secretary edged the people of Sioma district to replant all the areas where they harvested this forest resource using seed.

The ban of the devils claw that was imposed last year has forthwith been uplifted and the harvesting season for this year has since been flagged off.

Devil’s claw is a plant whose botanical name is ‘Harpagophytum’ which means “hook plant” in Greek.

Devil’s claw is a herb plant commonly found Africa and gets its name from the appearance of its fruit which is covered with hooks meant to attach onto animals in order to spread the seeds.

According to medical researchers and herbalists, the roots and tubers of Devil’s claw are used to make medicine for a number of human body ailments such as arthritis, gout, muscle pains, chest pains, heart burn, back pains, stomach upset, headache and fever.

It is also used to enhance childbirth, menstrual problems, allergic reactions, loss of appetite, as well as bladder and kidney disease.

Some people apply Devil’s claw to the skin for injuries and other skin conditions.