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Analysis of the Fruit Value Chain of Two Priority Food Woody Species of Central Southern Niger, West Africa

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Non-timber forest products provide important socio-economic services to different village and urban communities in West Africa. However, little is known about the links between the different actors and their contribution to the local or national economy. This study was conducted in central southern Niger and aimed to 1) identify and map the main actors in the value chain of Ziziphus mauritiana and Balanites aegyptiaca fruits; and 2) analyse the silvicultural and socio-economic aspects of fruit exploitation of these two species. Socio-economic surveys were conducted in four big villages in two main agroecological zones. Fruit exploitation of these two species affected 3044 people, with estimated 39 tonnes of Z. mauritiana and 27 tonnes of B. aegyptiaca fruit collected in 2017. The surveys revealed that the main actors were women (62.05 ), constituting the primary core of the actors of the value chain. Exploitation was mainly conducted in forests (68.6 ) or on farms (15.4 ) with no restrictions to access. Marketing of Z. mauritiana concerned fresh fruit (68.8 ) and fruit processed into biscuits (82.14 ), and that of B. aegyptiaca involved fruit (38.5 ) and oil extracted from seeds (38.7 ); the net margin was estimated at 71.71 ± 21.59 for the first species and 50.31 ± 47.99 for the second. The income was mainly used for the needs of farmers’ households. Links have been identified where consumers and processors supply seeds, after extracting the fruit pulp, to nurserymen for the production of plants for the villages or farms. This study reveals an important potential and opportunity for job creation and improved food and nutritional status of the vulnerable strata of rural communities in Niger. Improving the links between the various actors will establish a more sustainable promotion of the fruits of these two species.

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