Medicinal plants sold in the markets of Antananarivo, Madagascar
Randriamiharisoa, Maria N
Kuhlman, Alyse R
Bussmann, Rainer W
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract Background This study focuses on the large outdoor markets of the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo. As the largest metropolitan area in Madagascar with a population of nearly two million, the region has great capacity for consumption of medicinal plant remedies despite numerous pharmacies. Medicinal plant use spans all socioeconomic levels, and the diverse metropolitan population allows us to study a wide variety of people who consume these plants for medical purposes. The purpose of this study is to identify and generate a list of medicinal plants sold in the traditional markets with a focus on those collected in the forests around Antananarivo, get an idea of the quantities of medicinal plants sold in the markets around Antananarivo, and assess the economy of the medicinal plant markets. Methods In order to determine which medicinal plants are most consumed in Antananarivo, ethnobotanical enquiries were conducted in the five main markets of the capital city. Ethnobotanical surveys were conducted with medicinal plant traders, suppliers, harvesters and cultivators, with voucher specimens created from the plants discussed. Trade circuit information was established and the income generated by the trade of some of the species was assessed. Results The inventory of the Antananarivo markets resulted in a list of 89 commercialized plant species. Ten of the 89 were mentioned by 60-100 % of vendors. Profitability for vendors is high and competitive with other salaried positions within Antananarivo. Transportation costs are also high and therefore lower profitability for other members in the supply chain. Conclusions The markets of Antananarivo have always played a vital cultural role in the lives of urban Malagasy, but our study shows they also play an economic role not only for urban residents but rural harvesters as well. Continued research and monitoring of the non-timber forest products trade in Antananarivo is needed to better understand the impact of trade on the wild plant populations.