Replication data for: No appropriate technology so far for Ricinodendron heudelotii (Baill. Pierre ex Pax) processing in Cameroon: Performance of mechanized kernel extraction uri icon


  • Ricinodendron heudelotii kernels are an important source of income for rural wome n in the humid tropics of Africa. Manual kernel extraction is time consuming and efforts have been made to mechanize the process. However, mechanical damage to kernels remains an issue. Within the socioeconomic and resource ecology context in the central region of Cameroon, a prototype machine for extracting njansang kernels was developed and has been tested since 2007, then evaluated using a learning selection model. Surveys with users and non-users suggested a shift towards male and younger users. The advantages of rapid kernel extraction are partly offset by the requirement to sort out broken kernels, leading to a total time requirement of 60.87 min for manual processing and 2.08 + 39.56 min for mechanical extraction + manual sorting. The technology needs further improvement to deliver the expected increase in labour efficiency and economic advantages for rural women. The study was carried out in the small community of Epkwassong, 42 km from Ayos city, Nyong-et-Mfoumou Division in the Central region of Cameroon. Epkwassong was chosen because njansang is common here and women in the village have a good knowledge of its exploitation. The njansang producer group ‘Fa’a Si Obe’ is well-organized and has been selling njansang as a group since 2005. In terms of socio-economic and biophysical characteristics, Epkwassong is in many ways representative of the humid forest zone of Cameroon, and even of the Congo Basin. Epkwassong is located in a forest zone with bimodal rainfall l(1500 to 2000 mm per year in average) characterized bya Guinean climate with 4 seasons (main dry season from December to February; main rainy season from March to June; short dry season from July to August; short rainy season from September to November). The average temperature is 25°C and the main economic activities of the area are agriculture, artisanal fishing in the rivers Nyong-et-Mfoumou and hunting. Commercialization of njansang is the fourth most important source of income after plantain, cocoa and cocoyam. R. heudelotii in this zone is typically found in abandoned farmland and is often retained when land is cleared for farming because it improves soil fertility and provides shade required for cocoa cash cropping

publication date

  • 2014