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HRF Granted Three Year International Development Project

The Herb Research Foundation has received funding to enter into a three-year endeavor to promote trade of sustainably produced herbs from Africa, in cooperation with the South African Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Purdue University, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Termed the Natural Products Network Project, this USAID-funded program presents a bold mission of bringing together several countries from West, East, and Southern Africa in order to foster business linkages between African natural products producers and wholesale buyers from within Africa as well as from Asia, Europe, and the US. HRF will be managing the entire project.

Commenting on the project's objectives, HRF president Rob McCaleb stated, "We hope to see a healthy increase in both the quality and quantity of natural products from the African continent, contributing to the world supply of raw materials for the natural products market." A special focus of this project will be to promote sustainable production of herbs, especially those that are in danger of over collection in the wild. Project activities will include multiple annual sub-regional market linkage workshops within Africa, as well as visits each year to the US by African delegates, who will be able to learn firsthand about the natural products industry. In addition, project partners are organizing a roundtable for African natural products producers and international buyers, which is scheduled to take place in April 2000 in Cape Town, South Africa (see African Natural Products Network Roundtable story).

Margaret Blank, Herb Research News

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