via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Million dollar project for Binga villagers 06 October 2014
MATABELELAND NORTH – BINGA villagers have won a million dollar contract to supply a medicinal plant, used to produce Quabain a drug which prevents heart failure to international pharmaceutical companies.
The lucrative deal which will see the Tonga community which has in the past decried marginalization wrecking in millions of dollars annually, was announced by the director of Kaite Trust, Dominic Collernberg, whose organisation is working with about 65 Sikalenge Ward villagers in harvesting the plant to sell to international pharmaceutical companies.
The indigenous strophanthus, known in Binga as tjotjokulumpalumpa, is a poisonous plant, which is traditionally used to catch fish as its toxic element makes the fish’s heart stop.
International pharmacies, according to reports, discovered that the plant in Binga was of high quality compared to the one in West Africa – where they had been getting it.
During a presentation to the director of USAid Zimbabwe Mission, Melissa Williams, whose organisation funds the projects, Collernberg said they had been contracted to harvest the plant in Binga because of its high quality internationally.
The project is being implemented by Hilfswerk Austria International and the World Food Programme.