Processing and utilisation of indigenous fruits of the miombo in southern Africa uri icon


  • Over 50 indigenous fruit species from the miombo woodlands are important sources of food and constitute food reserves for people during famines or drougts in southern Africa. The SADC_ICRAF regional programme has concentrated its work on the four most promising fruit species Uapaca kirkiana, Parinari curatellifolia, Strychnos cocculodes and Sclerocarya birrea. The paper discusses processing and utilisation methods and the role of farmers and small-scale processors in overall development of the priority species during the last 10 years and emerging issues for future work. The edible pulp of indigenous fruits is rich in iron, zinc, vitamins A and C, and reducing sugars. The seed kernels are good sources of protein, fat and minerals. various products such as juices, jams, dried pulp, wines, flavours and 'flitters' using a mixture of S. cocculoides and U. kirkiana have been made by farmers for home consumption and sale in urban markets. Small-scale processors such as Mulunguzi winery in Malawi, the Mukutu and Ntandabale Wineries at Lusaka in Zambia and farmers have produced wine from indigenious fruits. Training of farmers' groups and small-to medium-scale processors has been undertaken to increase their skills in quality assurance and business management

publication date

  • 2004