INP tab Commiphora The way forward
An opportunity to make truly Namibian products exists, not just from C. wildii and mopane, but also in combining other locally manufactured products and raw materials. Namibia has a considerable and growing tourist sector, which has the potential to provide a market for this kind of indigenous product. The next step is to create awareness that buying Namibian is the right thing to do.
One recommendation is for the OPF to sell their own oils direct to the end user as far as possible, without having to partner with agents, traders and other third parties, which will drive up the price of the product, but not directly benefit the Namibians producing the oil.
The challenges presently facing successful marketing of the oils are to make them known to relevant buyers. But, until the analysis of the components of the oils are uncovered, it is unknown whether they have any specific properties that will help target which markets the oils should be aimed at.
The fragrance industry and creators of perfumes will have to experiment extensively to see if the oils exhibit those specific properties they are looking for. Then there is the issue of competition and guarding one’s products. Mopane, for example is a very common species in the SADC Region, which means that other producers of the oil, their products and output will have to be taken into account.
The sustainable harvesting of gums and resins and the production and successful marketing of Namibian essential oils has the potential to make a significant impact on the livelihoods of many Namibians living in remote rural areas. Over the past ten years, much research has been done and this has laid the foundation for the successful establishment of sustainable supply chains. The development of sustainable markets for these products is the next challenge for the Namibian organisations supporting INP development.