Tree crop development potentials in Africa - towards a more enabling environment uri icon


  • Tree products are of huge importance to African economies. Dominated by coffee, cocoa, and tea, tree products are exported mainly as raw or semi-processed materials. In 2000, African tree crop exports stood at almost USD 5 billion. Côte dâ??Ivoire alone gained some USD 1.5 billion, and Ghana and Kenya shared USD 640 million. In many countries, tree crops make up substantial percentages of total agricultural exports: Côte dâ??Ivoire: 35%, Ethiopia: 26%, Ghana: 25%, and Kenya: 23%. Ugandaâ??s proportion is 53%, and a sharp drop in the proportion of households below the poverty level, from 54% in 1992 to 35% in 2000, is largely attributed to increased earnings from coffee production (World Bank, 2002). Tree crop farming, formerly reserved for large private or public investors, is today the major source of living for millions in many African countries. Most farmers operate in smallholdings, which are limited in size (less than 3 ha) and rely on family labour, and are quite flexible when faced with managerial constraints. This explains why smallholders dominate the cocoa, coffee, tea, copra, and natural rubber sectors. For example, there are 700ï? 000 cocoa producers in Côte dâ??Ivoire and 1.6 million in Ghana

publication date

  • 2007