Other than the gums and resins produced by commiphora species, there are two other plants that are currently being harvested in the Kunene Region for the production of essential oils.
- The seeds of Colophospermum mopane are harvested and steam distilled at the Opuwo Processing Facility to extract an essential oil
- The waxy bark that remains on the soil surface after Sarcocaulon mossamedense plants have died and decomposed is collected. The extraction of the essential oil from this material cannot be done by steam distillation. Solvent extraction methods are used and, at the moment, the possibility of doing this extraction in Namibia is being explored.
The products from the two plants discussed in this chapter provide very different challenges. The mopane resource is abundant and the technology for extraction locally available. The challenge is to develop the market. The Sarcocaulon resource, on the other hand, is limited and technology for adding value is not available within Namibia, but there is considerable market interest in the product. Before either of these products can be sold in the EU, the regulatory documentation is required.