Profitability of Indigenous Medicinal Plants Market (IMPM) in improving household income and food security
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Access to affordable medicines and food by households remain a prevailing challenge to many African communities especially those residing in rural areas. Hence, there are people who are dependent on Indigenous Medicinal Plants (IMPs) and vegetables practise which shows a market that has potential to contribute towards improving household livelihood and standards of livings. Thus, access and participation to formal and informal market by households results to food security enhancement, income generation and employment availability. However, IMPM operates under informal sector which tends to either be ignored or neglected. Informal markets are also associated with unofficial transactions between consumers and the seller tends to be the ones that suffer the most. Thus, this study looked at the profitability of IMPM focusing on the informal market. Primary data was collected in the Amathole district Municipality - Eastern Cape Province via observation checklist and informal discussion whereby purposive sampling was done to get data on the operations and effectiveness of the market. Results do illustrate the significance of the market i.e. employment creation, income generation that is used to buy food. Moreover, majority of the participants were women and it was identified to be labourious. The study concludes by noting that this is a livelihood strategy that needs to be well explored since a lot is linked to is i.e. skill development, inheritance and promotion of IKS through identity recognition by those selling and making use of the market.