The Importance of Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) in Rural West African Subsistence—Suggestion of a Cautionary Approach to International Market Export of Baobab Fruits
Abstract:The European Commission recently authorized the import of baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) fruit pulp as a novel food. In rural West Africa the multipurpose baobab is used extensively for subsistence. Three hundred traditional uses of the baobab were documented in Benin, Mali, and Senegal across 11 ethnic groups and 4 agroecological zones. Baobab fruits and leaves are consumed throughout the year. The export of baobab fruits could negatively influence livelihoods, including reduced nutritional intake, change of power relations, and access rights. Capacity building and certification could encourage a sustainable and ethical trade of baobab fruits without neglecting baobab use in subsistence.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Division of Organic Farming, Working Group: Knowledge Systems and Innovations, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Publication date: May 1, 2010