African food trees highlighted in new booklets

Bioversity International has released a series of excellent booklets on priority African tree species such as the Baobab and the Shea Butter tree, complementing the  Agroforestree database; both aim to provide information on important species that are native to sub-Saharan Africa.

There are 11 booklets in the series, published in both English and French

Bioversity and the World Agroforestry Centre are collaborating on CGIAR-wide research especially concerning tree genetic resources and African tree species.

At least 2000 tree species are at risk in sub-Saharan Africa, many of which are highly valued by smallholder farming communities both for food and livelihoods.

In spite of existing conservation and reforestation efforts, unsustainable practices such as tree cutting for firewood and forest clearance for agricultural development, as well as changes to the climate, are increasingly placing several tree species under threat.

Each of the booklets in the African Priority Food Tree Species series includes a synthesis of current knowledge about each species as well as recommendations for their conservation and sustainable use.

The species covered are:

  • Ackee (Blighia sapida)
  • African baobab (Adansonia digitata)
  • African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa)
  • Ber (Ziziphus mauritiania)
  • Bush butter tree (Dacryodes edulis)
  • Bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis)
  • Marula (Sclerocarya birrea)
  • Shea butter tree (Vitellaria paradoxa)
  • Sweet detar (Detarium microcarpum)
  • Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
  • Velvet tamarind (Dialium guineense)'

Kate Langford

Kate Langford is a consultant writer with close to 20 years’ experience in communicating natural resource, environmental and land management issues for various government and non-government organizations. She previously worked as Communications Specialist for the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and has worked in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Communication.

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