Commercialising Indigenous Fruit for Poverty Alleviation

Briefing papers
January 2004
Ousseynou Ndoye, Abdon Awono, Kate Schreckenberg and Roger Leakey

In the West and Central African region, there are 60 million poor people. Cameroon’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2003) states that 40% of the population is below the poverty line, with farmers particularly hard hit. The recent economic ‘crisis’  triggered new interest in diversification as a basis for more sustainable farm livelihoods. A key element is the inclusion of indigenous fruit trees such as ‘Bush mango’ (Irvingia gabonensis) and ‘Safou’ (Dacryodes edulis) in the farming system. Between 1999 and 2002, research was carried out in the humid forest zone of Cameroon and Southeast Nigeria to find ways of overcoming the constraints faced by farmers trying to cultivate indigenous fruit trees as new crops.

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