Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Exploiting the potential of indigenous agroforestry trees: Parkia biglobosa and Vitellaria paradoxa in sub-Saharan Africa.

Abstract

Parkia biglobosa (néré) and Vitellaria paradoxa, syn. Butyrospermum paradoxum (karité) are indigenous tree species that are economically and socially important for local people in sub-Saharan Africa. Farmers deliberately maintain these trees on farms mainly for their fruits and nuts. The populations of both species are in decline and they remain semi- or undomesticated. Recent research has shown that both species are genetically diverse, which indicates their potential for domestication through selection and breeding, and that crop production under the trees could be improved by crown pruning. Research also has helped develop vegetative propagation methods that allow multiplication of superior trees and on-farm domestication of the trees. Domestication should enhance their role in improving rural livelihoods. New knowledge on reproductive biology should be used to increase fruit production in both species. Prevailing social conditions in relation to tree tenure, marketing, and processing are the major constraints to successful domestication and proper management of these valuable trees. Changes in tree tenure policy, development of local and national markets, access to market information for producers, establishment of a system for standardizing product quality at national level, and development of improved village processing technologies are needed. From author's summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Butyrospermum paradoxum | Parkia biglobosa | multipurpose trees | Butyrospermum paradoxum | Parkia biglobosa | fruit trees | nut crops | wild plants | cultivation | cropping systems | Central Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa.