# Uses, management and economic potential of Irvingia gabonensis in the humid lowlands of Cameroon

The study authors: Elias T Ayuk, , Bahiru Duguma, Steve Franzel, Joseph Kengue, Matthias Mollet, Theophile Tiki-Manga, Pauline Zenkeng.

International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677NairobiKenya, IRAD/ICRAF Collaborative Agroforestry Project, P.O. Box 2123, YaoundéCameroon, IRAD/NCRE Collaborative Project, BP 2067, YaoundéCameroon

Irvingia gabonensis is one of the most preferred tree species by farmers in the humid lowlands of Cameroon. The kernel of the species figures prominently in international trade in West Africa. Although there exists empirical data on the volume of international trade of the kernel, no data are available at the farm-level.

The species generally grows in the wild and very little efforts have been made to domesticate it. As part of a prioritization exercise a field survey was undertaken to quantify, at the farm-level, the economic importance of the species. Uses, management and farmers’ improvement objectives were also identified. The results of the survey indicate that Irvingia gabonensis is propagated rather by transplanting wildings than by planting of seedlings and is found mostly in tree crop fields (e.g. cocoa and coffee). The kernel or seed is highly traded and is also transformed into a paste which is used in the preparation of sauces. Irvingia wood is used for timber, its dead branches for firewood and the bark is used as medicine. The farm-level annual value of production for Irvingia averages US$93.00–US$ 15.00 from fruits and US\$ 78.00 from seeds – per grower/collector in some regions. Desired improvement objectives include increasing fruit size, improving the taste of fruits, increasing yield, reducing tree height and time to bearing.

Author: Eco Supplements

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