The role of institutional arrangements and policy on the conservation, utilization and commercialization of indigenous fruits in Southern Africa uri icon


  • Food insecurity, health, especially HIV/AIDS, high levels of unemployment and poverty are some of the key development challenges facing the southern Africa region. To overcome these challenges, most governments are implementing programmes that promote sustainable economic growth to reduce poverty and unemployment. As part of these programmes, rural people are coping with food insecurity and sustaining their livelihoods by using forest products, including wild foods and indigenous fruit trees. These foods supplement their diets and are traded to provide cash income (FAO, 1989). The forests and natural woodlands support millions of livelihoods for people living within and neighbouring them. They provide direct and indirect benefits that include environmental services of soil, water and biodiversity conservation, animal habitats, beauty, tourism, a variety of wood and non-wood products, medicines, herbs and fruits. They are home to several indigenous fruit trees (IFTs) that offer various products and services to rural and urban communities in Africa (FAO, 1989). These IFT products and services have sustained rural and urban livelihoods for thousands of years. The biggest challenge to forest sectors in southern Africa is to promote self-sufficiency in forest products through sustained forest management and biodiversity conservation

publication date

  • 2008