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Appendix 1d: Retailer questionnaire

A. POPULARITY

Producing medicinal plants for the market requires that a grower have some understanding of the demand for plants. A farmer will produce plants that he or she knows will be easy to sell. We need to find out how large the demand is for certain medicinal plants. If you think that there are other plants that are important as they are becoming scarce, then add them to this list.

1. Which medicinal plants have you sold the most of in the last year? This is the number of times that the plant has been sold.

Name of medicinal plant

High sales

Moderate sales

Low sales

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








2. Have the sales of these medicinal plants changed or not in the last five years?

Name of medicinal plant

Increased

Decreased

The same

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








3. Please give reasons why you think there have been changes.






4. Do you think the demand for these medicinal plants will be high or low in future?

1. Demand will remain high
2. Demand will remain the same
3. Demand will decrease
4. I cannot tell

5. Give reasons for your answer?



6. Which times of the year are these medicinal plants in the greatest demand?

Name

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Isibhaha





Indungulo, Isiphephetho





Igibisila





Umathunga





Unukani





Ikhathazo





Umlahleni





Inguduza





Umathithibala










7. Why would you say the medicinal plants are demanded in certain seasons?

Name

When plant can be found

Time when illness is common

Harvesting ritual

Other reasons

Isibhaha





Indungulo, Isiphephetho





Igibisila





Umathunga





Unukani





Ikhathazo





Umlahleni





Inguduza





Umathithibala










8. Which medicinal plants would you say were most frequently requested by the clients?

Name

Requested most frequently

Requested moderately

Not frequently requested

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








9. What level of medicinal plants would you like to stock?

Name

Higher stock level

Medium stock level

Lower stock level

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








10. What determines the level of stock that is desired?

Name

Reason (cost, demand, irregular supply, etc)

Isibhaha


Indungulo, Isiphephetho


Igibisila


Umathunga


Unukani


Ikhathazo


Umlahleni


Inguduza


Umathithibala




B. SUBSTITUTABILITY

Before growing medicinal plants for traditional healing purposes, it is important to know whether the plants can be easily substituted with other plants. For example, if unukani can be substituted with undlangwenya or umkhondweni, then it may not be worthwhile to grow unukani. We therefore need to understand the substitutability of the plants.

11. Do these medicinal plants have any substitutes? Please give name of substitute/s if the answer is yes.

Name

Yes

No

Name of substitute/s

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








12. What is causing substitution to take place?




13. Do you accept the substitutes as being effective?

Name

Readily Acceptable

Acceptable

Not Acceptable

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








14. Is the use of plants changing over time?

Name

New uses

New part used

Smaller size used

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








C. USAGE

When growing any crops for the market it is important to know how many plants to produce for the market. The farmer must have some idea how many plants he or she can sell to the market every year. We therefore need to get some indication of how many medicinal plants were sold in the market in the last year.

15. What unit of measure do you use for selling the medicinal plants?

Name

Unit (cup, handful, etc)

Weight

Size (thickness of bark or bulb)

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








16. How often do you sell these medicinal plants in a month?

Name

Number of times a month

Isibhaha


Indungulo, Isiphephetho


Igibisila


Umathunga


Unukani


Ikhathazo


Umlahleni


Inguduza


Umathithibala




17. How long can you keep the medicinal plants before they loose their healing properties?

Name

Shelf life (months, etc)

Isibhaha


Indungulo, Isiphephetho


Igibisila


Umathunga


Unukani


Ikhathazo


Umlahleni


Inguduza


Umathithibala




18. What quantity of these medicinal plants did you sell this last year?

Name

Unit

Weight

Quantity

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








19. How do you package the medicine you sell?

____________________________________

D. SOURCES OF SUPPLY AND CUSTOMERS

Understanding the supply network is important for potential plant growers. A farmer needs to know where they will be able to sell their crop, how far it will be to the market and how long it will take them to sell the produce. In addition, it is important for the growers to know how the customers are going to react in the future. Most medicinal plants take at least a few years before they can be harvested, and therefore farmers need to know whether or not the crop they put in the ground this year will have a market in a few years time.

20 Who do you buy these medicinal plants from (gatherers, street sellers, muthi shops, traditional healers, etc)? Where do you buy these medicinal plants (the name of the place) and how often do you buy them per month?

Name

Seller

Place

Per Month

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








21. Which of the following customers do you sell most often to? Rank them.

Patients looking for a treatment

[ ]

Street sellers

[ ]

Traditional healers

[ ]

Other specify

[ ]

22. Where do most of your customers come from?

1. Within town
2. From other provinces
3. From out of town
4. Do not know

23. Do your customers ask for the medicinal plants by name or do they describe their problem and ask you to prescribe the appropriate medicine?

1. Customers ask for a specific medicine by name
2. Problem is described and prescription given

24. Why do customers come to your shop instead of visiting clinics? Indicate your level of agreement/disagreement to the following reasons why your customers might visit your shop instead of a clinic.



Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Do not know

Agree

Strongly Agree

1.

Customers want a traditional medicine

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

2.

Customers could not be cured at the clinics

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

3.

There are no clinics close to where the customers live

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

4.

Other medicines are too expensive

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

5.

Other reason

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

25. Do you think your customers are comfortable coming to a Muthi shop?

1. They are uncomfortable
2. They appear comfortable
3. I do not know

26. Are customers concerned about price?

1. Do they bargain with you
2. Do they accept your prices
3. Do they leave if your prices are too high for them

27. If the medicinal plants the customers are looking for is not available, do they

1. Settle for an alternative
2. Leave the shop and look elsewhere
3. Not sure

28. Would you say your customers are concerned about quality?

1. Not concerned
2. Do not know
3. Very concerned

29. Are your customers (tick the appropriate block):

Male

[ ]

female

[ ]

Well dressed

[ ]

poorly dressed

[ ]

Literate

[ ]

illiterate

[ ]

Speak English

[ ]

don't speak English

[ ]

Poor

[ ]

wealthy

[ ]

30. How would customers react if traditional medicines were sold in modern packaging?

1. They would buy less
2. They would buy more
3. They would not change their use

E. PRICES AND SEASONAL VARIATIONS

If medicinal plants are going to be grown for the market, then farmers need to have some understanding of their prices and variations that can be expected in the market. For example, a farmer would need to know what prices could be expected at different times of the year, in different regions, and from different buyers.

31. What are the selling prices for the medicinal plants listed below?

Name

Unit

Price

Isibhaha



Indungulo, Isiphephetho



Igibisila



Umathunga



Unukani



Ikhathazo



Umlahleni



Inguduza



Umathithibala






32. Kindly recall how prices have changed in recent years. How much did you buy the various medicinal plants for in 1985, 1990, and in 1995? (Remember to quote prices for the same unit sizes.)

Name

Unit

Price in 1995

Price in 1990

Price in 1985

Isibhaha





Indungulo, Isiphephetho





Igibisila





Umathunga





Unukani





Ikhathazo





Umlahleni





Inguduza





Umathithibala










33. Have the prices of the substitute medicinal plants also changed or not over the years?

1. Prices have changed just like the original medicinal plants
2. Prices for substitutes have not changed at all
3. Other

34. Are there any price variations in the different areas you buy your medicinal plants from?

1. Prices differ depending on where you buy from
2. The prices tend to be the same in different areas
3. I do not know

35. Indicate whether or not there are differences in the prices of the medicinal plants during different times of the year.

Name

Large seasonal variations in prices

Small price variations

No price variations

Isibhaha




Indungulo, Isiphephetho




Igibisila




Umathunga




Unukani




Ikhathazo




Umlahleni




Inguduza




Umathithibala








36. What reasons would you give for the price variations?



F. INFORMATION ON CULTIVATION OF MEDICINAL PLANTS

An important factor in the marketing of medicinal plants are the attitudes which users will have towards cultivated plants. We need to understand how traders, traditional healers and other users feel about cultivated plants to assess the potential for cultivating these plants.

37. If these medicinal plants had to be cultivated, would you accept them or not?

Name

Accept them

Not accept them

Isibhaha



Indungulo, Isiphephetho



Igibisila



Umathunga



Unukani



Ikhathazo



Umlahleni



Inguduza



Umathithibala






38. If you answered 'not acceptable' to any of the plants above, please explain why?






39. What would you use if certain wild plants are no longer available?




40. Would you be interested in buying cultivated plants from the growers?

1. Yes
2. No
3. I do not know

G. GENERAL QUESTIONS

41. Which of the age categories do you belong to?

1. 15-25
2. 26-35
3. 36-45
4. 46-55
5. 56-65
6. 66+

42. Gender

1. Male
2. Female

43. What support would you like to get in order to improve your business? (e.g. formal business training, credit, regular plants supply etc.) In order of priority:

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

44. How many patients do you treat per day?

[ ]

45. What is the average cost of a treatment per patient?

[ ]

46. How many people work at your practice/shop?

[ ]

47. How many people gather plants for you?

[ ]

48 How many sacks of muthi do you buy per month?

[ ]


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