Nokwanda Makunga – Episode 9

South Africa is ranked in the top three countries globally when it comes to plant and marine species endemism (species found nowhere else on earth).The diversity and uniqueness of South Africa’s species and ecosystems makes the country one of the world’s 17 mega diverse nations – countries that together contain more than two-thirds of the world’s biodiversity. South Africa has over 2 000 medicinal plant species contribute to the African traditional medicine sector worth around R18bn a year.It is estimated that over 70% of South Africans use traditional medicinal plants as their primary source of health care).

Prof Nox Makunga has a great passion for the conservation and study of biodiversity of South Africa. She has a contributed to two books: Protocols for Somatic Embryogenesis in Woody plants and Floriculture, Ornamental and Plant Biotechnology: Advances and Topical Issues. She has acted as honorary secretary, Vice President and President of the South African Association of Botanists Council.

In 2017 she was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.[13] She worked with Jerry Cohen on medicinal plants from the Eastern Cape.She studied the Stevia plant.[15] She holds a patent for vegetative plant propagation.


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