Muthi Futhi

Cultivates and processes indigenous medicinal plants into finished herbal products.
2013 SEED South Africa Award Winner Biodiversity Pinetown, South Africa

Muthi Futhi is a pioneering business engaged in the commercial cultivation and processing of selected threatened indigenous medicinal plants. It aims to become a replicable model for other communities and growers, creating new, sustainable rural jobs for marginalised women. The enterprise is jointly owned by the Edakeni community and the consultancy Enzangakho, ensuring long-term partnership. Its customers are commercial companies manufacturing herbal products locally or exporting raw materials to Europe, the US and elsewhere.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Muthi Futhi's pioneering business is designed both to protect the endangered biodiversity of KwaZulu-Natal and to create sustainable jobs for rural women. 
  • The team cultivating the plants is made up exclusively of community members.
  • Most team-members are women, since agriculture is traditionally a female activity in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • The Dakeni community made the 25-hectare site available to Muthi Futhi and continues to support the enterprise.
  • Protecting indigenous medicinal plants in the wild through substitution with cultivated material.
  • Using organic cultivation methods and educating the community about sustainable cultivation.
  • Training the team on the importance of conservation, and educating other members of the community.
  • The community will receive 50 % of future profits.
  • Creating paid permanent jobs for 30 women in the 300-person community.
  • Serving as a replicable model of sustainable business for other rural communities.



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Edakeni Muthi Futhi Trust, co-owned by the Edakeni community and the consultancy Enzangakho, runs the enterprise. 

Zululand Nurseries provide technical support and supplies for propagating and cultivating medicinal plant products.

Esse Organics is a customer and also provides technical support and advice on industry-related issues.

The Agricultural Research Council provides expertise on medicinal plant cultivation and processing, as well as accrediting the Muthi Futhi nursery so it can supply other growers.

The University of Pretoria has a research partnership with Muthi Futhi; Muthi Futhi will share in any potential commercialisation.

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Gill Whittington Banda
67 Woodside Avenue Cowies Hill, Pinetown 3610
Pinetown, South Africa
Tel: 0312671667

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