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The Trade in African medicinal plants by migrants in Matonge-Ixelles, Brussels


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Marie Cakupewa - Urban Ethnobotany and Migration
African Diaspora Agro Food Forum 2018
25th April 2018
Bouchout Castle, Botanic Garden Meise Belgium

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The Trade in African medicinal plants by migrants in Matonge-Ixelles, Brussels

  1. 1. The Trade in African medicinal plants by migrants in Matonge-Ixelles, Brussels By Marie-Cakupewa Fundiko, Prof. Dr. T.R. van Andel • African Diaspora Agro-Food Forum 2018 Meise BG, 25 april 2018
  2. 2. Markets as public places • “Markets are public spaces in which many kinds of products are sold, but also places of cultural exchange. • Markets are distinctive for each culture or society as they represent small-scale reproductions of that region's cultural and biological diversity” (de Albuquerque et al., 2007).
  3. 3. Urban Ethnobotany and Migration • Migrants maintain their own traditions, beliefs, food and herbal medicine – Migrants rely on medicinal plants: low income, no insurance • Food and medicine strengthen own cultural identity • Urban ethnobotany of African migrants not well documented (Pieroni & Vandebroek, 2007), (Vandebroek and Balick, 2012a) Saba senegalensis Abelmoschus esculentus
  4. 4. Matonge-Ixelles vs Matonge-Kinshasa Brussels-Ixelles Matonge- Ixelles Belgium Matonge-Kin.
  5. 5. Fresh Matonge fruits (Landolphia owariensis), a popular, wild-harvested fruit in the DRC, after which the Nighlife neigboorhood Matonge in Kinshasa and Bruxelles is named.
  6. 6. Matonge-Ixelles vs Matonge-Kinshasa • Matonge is a fruit Landolphia owariensis (Apocynaceae) • Matonge is a market and meeting place in Kinshasa (DR Congo) • Matonge-Ixelles an African neighborhood in Brussels • (27 streets, Congolese migrants) • Matonge a meeting-at-home place for multicultural communities • Matonge: the place to study urban ethnobotany of Africans in Europe Matonge-Porte de Namur, Bus stop at Matonge-Ixelles Matonge -Kinshasa
  7. 7. Research questions • What African species are sold as medicine in Matonge? • What is the main source of the plants sold? • What are the most important diseases treated? • Which ethnicities involved in trade of African plants in Matonge? • Who buys African medicinal plants in Matonge and why? • Are most African plants sold at Matonge food medicine? • Which percentage of commercial Congolese herbal medicine is available at Matonge? Landolphia owariensis (Matonge)
  8. 8. Hypothesis • Market is dominated by Congolese traders and clients • Most herbal medicine comes from the DRC • Common diseases and culture-bound illnesses are treated with plants. • Food medicine dominates the market in Matonge • Selling unregistered herbal medicine is not allowed according to European law
  9. 9. Material & Methods Market surveys in Matonge March-June 2014 • Counting shops and selling points with African plants sold • Inventory of medicinal plants sold • Semi structured interviews with vendors and clients • Collecting samples of medicinal plants (Quiroz et al., 2014; Towns and van Andel, 2014; van Andel and van t’ Klooster, 2007; Vandebroek and Balick, 2012a; Vandebroek, 2013). Data Analysis • Identification in Naturalis using flora & literature, field guides, online databases • Comparison with data on market surveys Central and West Africa • Compare floristic diversity in African-managed vs Pakistani shops. Central Africa: DRC: Biloso & Lejoly, ; Termote et al, 2012; Iwu,1993; (Hoare, 2007), and West Africa: Ghana (Andel van et al., 2012), Benin (Quiroz et al., 2014), Gabon (Vliet van, 2012), (Lieke, 2013), (Towns et al, 2014),
  10. 10. Results : Market profile 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Non-African managed shops African managed shops Ethnicity of vendors in Matonge, 2014 Percentage Provenance of medicinal plants sold at Matonge Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Benin, Mali, South Africa, Uganda. Aloe vera
  11. 11. Biological diversity • 69 medicinal products (67 species, 38 families) • Highest species number Malvaceae (7 spp.), Leguminosae (6 spp.), Apocynaceae (4 spp.) • 15 spp. mentioned by clients but not found in shop • Acridocarpus sp. • Erythrophleum africanum, • Raphia sese Saba senegalensis Raphia sese
  12. 12. Top 10 Food-medicine plants sold at Matonge-Ixelles • Dacryodes edulis Fresh fruits 21% Plant Part used Percnetage of shops (n=19) Gnetum africanum Sliced leaves 89% Elaeis guineensis Oil from fruits 84% Colocasia esculenta Starchy tubers 84% Capsicum annuum Fresh and dried fruits 79% Manihot esculenta Starchy tuber and frozen leaves 79% Abelmoschus esculentus Fresh fruits 79% Ipomea batatas Frsh leaves 74% Musa X paradisiaca Fresh fruits 68% Hibiscus acetosella Fresh and dried leaves 32% Hibiscus sabdarifa Dried calyces 26% Zingibera officinale Rhizomes 26%
  13. 13. Food vs Non-food medicine - 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Food medicine Nonfood medicine Food medicine vs nonfood • Annickia polycarpa • Acacia nilotica • Carissa cf. spinarum • Cola spp. • Vetiveria zizanioides. 90% 10% Distribution of Non food medicine African managed shops Pakistanis shops
  14. 14. Diseases treated Aphrodisiacs 27% Women health 15% Skin disease 12% Rituals 9% Laxatives 8% Diabetes 6% Cough 6% Teeth pain 5% Hemorrhoids 4% Prostate cancer 4% Breast cancer 4% % (of all 82 spp.) Saba senegalensis
  15. 15. Ritual Plants • Elaeis guineensis, • Erythrophleum africanum, • Afrostyrax lepidophyllus, • Ocimum gratissimum • Gnetum africanum Ocimum gratissimum
  16. 16. Why buy food medicine at Matonge • Cultural identity and value • Spread traditions in host country • Trust in African Traditional Medicine • Cultural-bound disease vs biomedicine • Strengthening intercultural relationship Aframomum melegueta
  17. 17. Matonge-Ixelles: Access to Congolese traditional pharmacopeia? • About 25% DRC herbal plant diversity available in Matonge • About 7% sold underground (private homes) • Several common species not available • Very few African migrants involved in the trade of herbal medicine (limited by rent, taxes, strict regulation)
  18. 18. Discussion • Formal vs underground market (selling from home) • Home surveys vs market surveys • Processed samples difficult to identify • Vernacular names not well documented • Better documentation needed Carissa cf spinarum ‘fimbo ya mibali ‘racine des garçons’
  19. 19. Conclusions • Trade in herbal medicine no more dominated by African/Congolese, but Pakistanis • Higher plant diversity in shops managed by African • Both common and culture-bound illnesses treated • More food medicine (67%) than non-food medicine • Underground market vs. formal circuit (strict regulation, rent, taxes etc.) • DRC herbal medicine represented by 25% • Matonge as center for African urban ethnobotany Lippia multiflora
  20. 20. Next steps: …back to DRCongo • Document women Traditional Knowledge on food plants in post conflict zones • Reforestation for people, food and conservation – Design the (Ethno) Botanic Garden • Collection seed bank for local community/IDPs • Awareness and capacity building involving indigenous /IDPs Rumex abyssinicus
  21. 21. Thanks for the Cooperation
  22. 22. Ethnobotany, Migration, Food security : Women Traditional Knowledge of food plants in South-Kivu, DR Congo
  23. 23. DR Congo, a mega biodiversity in Africa: Endemic species and Wild Edible Plants!
  24. 24. 19, 279, 918 ha , about 8% of DRC is protected areas , UICN, 2010 Gorilla Gorilla beringei in the PNKB, South-Kivu Linking Biodiversity Conservation, Migration and Food security in fragile zones in DRC?
  25. 25. Protected areas in displacement zones in South-Kivu Displaced pygmees in a village outside the National Park Kahuzi-Biega (PNKB), South-Kivu About 62.000 people were displaced in 2016 in the South-Kivu, Report. OCHA, About 84% of food insecure How to conciliate the migration, food security and livelihoods in conflict zones?
  26. 26. • In South-Kivu, high number of displaced people • Decline in crop production in the agriculture • High reliance on exotic food products on the market (Vwim, 2011, 2014) • Highest level of food insecurity in conflict zones (64%,WFP, 2014) • Agriculture primary livelihood is constraint by ongoing conflicts, crop diseases , and limited to access to land
  27. 27. People and Traditional Knowledge of food plants Shift from wild to domestication: challenges for sustainable agriculture
  28. 28. Necessity to promote minor, neglected traditional food crops • Vigna unguiculata (Nkole, in Mashi) • Lagenaria siceraria • Eleusine spp. (Obulo in Mashi) • Dioscorea alata (Maliga in Mashi) • Sorghum bicolor (Mahemba in Mashi) • Zea mays (Chigonji, en Mashi) • Cardamina spp.(Njinji in Mashi) • Cleome gynandra(Muhole) • Solanum nigrum (Mulunda, in Mashi) • Amaranthus viridis ( Ntendabuka in Mashi) • Dioscorea bulbifera (Iyange in Mashi) • Aframomun spp. (Bitakumburwa, in Mashi) • Nephrolepis biserrata (Bisirusiru in Mashi) • Solanum tuberosum (birayi in Swahili)
  29. 29. • Sustainable management of the indiginous knowledge of local plants • Food for reintegration of indigennous in local community). Dioscorea bulbifera , Pygmee children in a field of Cannabis sativa, village outside the PNKB
  30. 30. Valorization of Traditional Knowledge of food plants and minor crops in migration settings in South-Kivu
  31. 31. • Alternative Transition zone between PAs and the local people • Conciliate conservation approaches including local/indigenous/ displaced people (IDPs) • Traditional knowledge for resilience and protect cultural heritage Botanic Garden Transition zone Université 50 Lwiro Protected areas (PNKB) Local communities (indigenous and displaced) The role of a Botanic Garden
  32. 32. Plan of the pilot Botanic Garden at Lwiro, South-Kivu
  33. 33. Universite du Cinquantenaire de Lwiro Site maping
  34. 34. With the participation of women pygmees and ecoguides of the PNKB, we collect wild food plant seeds for the domestication in the pilot botanic garden at Lwiro (about 20 ha).
  35. 35. Nursary of the pilot UNI50BG Lwiro
  36. 36. • Botanic Garden approach in displacement zones - Selection and domestication of wild, endemic, and under utilized plants for resilience and food security – Produce browse for captive animals in transition zones – Research on traditional knowledge of local plant species – Awareness/Education on management strategies Aframomum spec., pic. Mariec Fundiko
  37. 37. Animal in transit at Lwiro Displaced pygmees in food insecurity !
  38. 38. Food for peace: valorization of traditional knowledge and integration of vulnerable Pygmee women negotiating arrable land to grow their food Pygmees with tools to work on farm land
  39. 39. Thanks for your attention Shift from wild to domestication
  40. 40. With the Taxonomy Group at The Herbarium of the CRSN/Lwiro
  41. 41. Cooperation