Subsidient: Suzanne Kanters / Utrecht University
Subsidy: S182.65

Medicinal and ritual plants have high social value. The monetary value of these plants is an important indicator of this social value. An accurate method to determine the monetary value of these plants is by assessing the cashed value, which is the potential value minus the costs that are involved in the cashing. This is a new approach in ecology, where the value of forest products is generally assessed by determining direct market values. Direct market values are not an adequate indicator for the added value of the plants for people that are involved in the value chain. In this research, the potential value of forests for medicinal and ritual plants is assesses, as well as factors that influence the cashing of the forest value. Suriname was the area of research, as a lively trade in medicinal and ritual plants exists in Suriname. The research showed that the average potential value of the selected plants was €217,- per 0.04 hectare. Market surveys and models showed that harvest strategy – whether harvesters are generalists or specialists, transport costs and forest size have a considerable impact on the cashed forest value.