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Mowa, E. and Maas, E. 2016. Influence of resting period on fruits and secondary tubers of Harpagophytum procumbens in Namibia. International Science and Technology Journal of Namibia, 8: 73-90


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Influence of resting period on fruits and secondary tubers of Harpagophytum procumbens in Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

Harpagophytum procumbens, the devil's claw, is a plant with medicinal values in Namibia, leading to high demands, and resulting in unsustainable harvesting techniques by locals. The most commonly practiced harvesting period is 2 years, mostly dictated by the need to make as much money as possible. A study was undertaken to investigate the effect of extending the current 2 year harvesting period to 5 years on secondary tuber and fruit production. Two experimental plots at two sites (Vergenoeg and Tjaka Ben Hur) were explored. The first plot had plants harvested every 2 years and another only after 5 years. Between sites and within sites differences in means were analyzed using a t-test at α = 0.05. Results established that there was no difference in fruit production between the 2 groups at Vergenoeg (p = 0.375) and BenHur (p = 0.131). However, between sites variability in number of secondary tubers wasrnobserved (p = 0.014). Particularly, at Vergenoeg, the number of secondary tubers produced after 5 years, were abundant (p = 0.003). In addition, the harvest at Vergenoeg showed a difference in weight of secondary tubers between the 2 groups (p = 0.006). Within Ben-Hur, there was no difference (p = 0.928) between the numbers of secondaryrntubers produced at 2 years and at 5 years. A holistic management approach (rotational harvesting) is recommended for to harvest every 5 years to maximize benefit and sustain the species. Keywords: Harpagophytum procumbens, harvesting period, fruit production, secondary tubers, secondary tuber weight, rotational harvesting.

Year: 2016

Type: Journal Article

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