Bioprospecting is defined as a...
systematic and organised search for useful products derived from bio resources including plants, micro-organisms, animals, etc., that can be developed further for commercialisation and overall benefits of the society. The South African Bioprospecting sub-sectors includes many organisations (these are businesses, national and provincial government departments, public entities, research organisations, academic organisations) and people (communities, individuals, investors).
They are all linked to the bioprospecting sub-sector by engaging in bioprospecting sub-sector related activities. These include collecting, harvesting and extracting living or dead indigenous species, or derivatives and genetic material thereof, for commercial or industrial purposes. The Bioprospecting sub-sector in South Africa has a formal, commercialised market and an informal market, dominated largely by traditional medicines. The formal, commercialised bioprospecting market, although fledgling, is growing rapidly.
The trend towards “natural” products demand is high and customers pay a price premium for goods with indigenous resources.
The Bioprospecting Value Chain
SOUTH AFRICA’S LIVING TREASURES RESEARCHED AND CONVERTED TO PRODUCTS. The bioprospecting commercial value chain key role players are from the resource harvesting to the end user
Both wild harvesters and farmers supply the sector. The market is largely focused on plant resources.
PROCESSING AND TRADE
Primarily trade in indigenous plant species of which 70% are exported as raw materials.
Operate in two categories