Agroforestry potential of Dacryodes edulis in the oil palm-cassava belt of southeastern Nigeria.
In different states of south-eastern Nigeria, farmers were interviewed to determine the status and agroforestry potential of the fruit tree Dacryodes edulis. Between 50% and 100% of respondents owned D. edulis trees. On average, a farmer owned 9.3 trees, the largest number being 16, by farmers in Imo State. Dacryodes edulis was rated the best farm tree by 20% of the farmers. It was present in all the farm niches: home gardens (51.4%), tree crop plots (20.7%), food crop plots (11.4%), secondary forest/fallow (14.2%) and virgin forest (2.5%). The tree is planted primarily for home consumption and sale to generate cash. At the current densities, on-farm D. edulis trees generally did not decrease the yield of companion crops or trees. Except for ring weeding around the stem, the trees received little or no management attention. More than 50% of the trees produced 33-50 kg fruit/tree/year. Farmers were willing to plant more D. edulis trees provided trees with traits such as less height for easy harvesting of fruits, larger fruit, more fruits, sweeter fruits and year-round production of fruits, were available. Possible agroforestry technologies into which D. edulis may fit include live fences, scattered trees in food crop fields, shade trees in tree crop plots, and contour bund or hedgerow planting. From authors' summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Dacryodes edulis | fruit crops | Dacryodes | oil crops | multipurpose trees | agroforestry | farm surveys | Nigeria.