Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (A-SNAPP) alliance

Supported by funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), A-SNAPP is a three-year collaborative project between the Herb Research Foundation (HRF) of Boulder, CO, Purdue University of West Lafayette, IN, and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa. By providing marketing assistance, quality management, and training, these partner organizations are working to help African growers and entrepreneurs achieve excellence in the production of competitive, world-class natural products.

Currently, the A-SNAPP partners have undertaken a focused effort to assess, track, and communicate market needs and forces in the international botanicals marketplace, as well as to engage botanical buyers, marketers, scientists, and other key links in the U.S. and Europe to work directly with African producers. To ensure the future success of the project, A-SNAPP is determined to develop long-term funding which will enable its activities to continue, assisting companies, farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders through innovative self-funding mechanisms and corporate partnerships.

In pursuing its pilot project in South Africa, A-SNAPP is faced with three main challenges: to develop cash crops for low-income farmers, to help protect wild plant populations through cultivation of over-collected species used in traditional medicine, and to foster regional production of traditional herbal remedies.