Domesticating and commercializing indigenous fruit and nut tree crops for food security and income generation in Sub-Saharan Africa uri icon


  • Research on indigenous fruit and nuts has accumula ted considerably in Sub-Saharan Africa, and their role is being recognized in the domain of poverty reduction. An ex ante impact analysis in southern Africa indicate that indigenous fruit can reduce vulnerability of rural households to income poverty. Hence, research has been on-go ing on development of long-term domestication strategies, selection of priority species, ge rmplasm collection and tree genetic improvement, propagation systems and field management, harvesting and post-harvest technology, economic analysis and market research. There are similari ties in the approaches and lessons learnt in different regions, especially in West and southern Africa. The selection, management and cultivation of IFTs are generally characterized by integration of silvicultural and horticultural approaches. Time to fruiting of wild fruit trees ha ve been reduced from mo re than 12 years in the wild to less than four years in all the three regions. This paper provide s synthesizes available studies on the domestication of indigenous fruit trees as tree crops, and commercializing their products, highlights the lessons learnt and provide d the way forward to tap into the opportunities presented by IFTs to enhance food security a nd income generation in sub-Saharan Africa

publication date

  • 2007