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From Sierra to Coast: Tracing the supply of medicinal plants in Northern Peru – A plant collector’s tale

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Title:From Sierra to Coast: Tracing the supply of medicinal plants in Northern Peru – A plant collector’s tale
Authors:Revene, Zachary
Bussmann, Rainer W.
Sharon, Douglas
Keywords:Northern Peru
Date Issued:2008
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Citation:Revene Z, Bussmann RW, Sharon D. 2008. From sierra to coast: tracing the supply of medicinal plants in Northern Peru – a plant collector’s tale. Ethnobotany Research and Applications 6:015-022.
Abstract:Northern Peru represents the center of the Andean “health axis”, where the continuous use of more than 500 medicinal plants has been documented. Local healers as well as patients purchase a large part of their plants in local markets. While limited data exist with regard to market inventories, no information has been available on how the plants get to the markets, if they are cultivated or collected in the wild, and what kind of income the collectors receive. The present paper reports on the complete market flow from collection to middlemen to vendor from the perspective of a herb collector/vendor. Herbs were mostly collected wild in the highlands around the city of Cajamarca, and collection as well as transport to the coastal markets required long-distance travel. The average daily net income of the collector varied from US$ 2.80 to 6.45. Even the upper end of this range is hardly sufficient to provide for a family. The low income indicates that the herb trade is very fragile, since collectors might either decide to engage in higher income activities or higher turnover, which could easily lead to over-harvesting of rare medicinal species in the region.
Appears in Collections: 2008 - Volume 6 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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