The Kunene Conservancies Indigenous Natural Products Trust (KCINP Trust) was founded in 2012 and is registered in Namibia as such with the Master of the High Court. The Kunene Conservancy Indigenous Natural Products Trust are the legal owners of the Scents of Namibia brand, the Opuwo Processing Facility where the essential oils are produced and the visitors centre.
The KCINP Trust has seven Trustees which include representatives from five conservancies and community forests in the Kunene region namely Puros, Orupembe, Sanitatas, Marienfluss and Okondjombo and an additional two Trustees. The KCINP Trust has three key objectives:
The upliftment and benefit sharing of the Kunene conservancies and community forests which market their natural resource products for the benefit of their members
To provide an entity to represent the participating conservancies in entering into agreements concerning the supply of natural products for value addition and further marketing
To provide an entity in which the participating conservancies and community forests jointly store, process, sell and market any natural products, and to jointly administer the activities of the natural products business of the participating conservancies and community forests
Trustees are elected at conservancy / community forest level and serve on the Board of Trustees for a period of five years and may not serve for more than two terms.
The development of the Opuwo Processing facility has been supported by Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) which seeks to develop the sustainable commercialisation of various indigenous natural products especially the endemic aromatic plants in the Kunene Region of Namibia. People living in this area are semi-nomadic pastoralists dependent on subsistence livestock farming. They are therefore vulnerable to drought conditions and environmental change. Income derived from the sale of plant material and products provides a very important source of supplementary income that makes a significant contribution to improving their livelihoods.
Product identification, resource inventories, the establishment of the Opuwo Processing Facility and Visitors centre, setting up the revolving fund and other technical support have been generously funded by many donors and individuals including, WWF in Namibia and WWF United Kingdom, Big Lottery, ICEMA, MCA Namibia, FAO, People and Plants, GIZ, Anders Johansson and Stefan Encratz.
Designed in a traditional Himba homestead style building, the Visitor’s Centre offers daily tours which describe and demonstrate the production of essential oils at the Opuwo Processing Facility. The Visitor’s Centre is open daily Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 17h00, however, the best time to visit the processing is from 09h00 – 16h00 when the distillation process is underway. At the center one can learn about the community development initiatives associated with indigenous natural plant products in the Kunene region of Namibia with the highlight being ’Namibian Myrrh’, the Ovahimba traditional perfume. Various finished cosmetic products are also available to purchase at the Visitors Centre.
If you would like to book a tour in advance, please contact the manager on +264 (0) 81 805 8764
The Opuwo Processing Facility and visitors center is located on the outskirts of Opuwo, directions can be found in the map below.