KAMAL E. M. FADL, JENS GEBAUER
Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), El Obeid Research Station, Sudan
Sudan is well known for its large `Gum Arabic' production. More than 80% of the total `Gum Arabic' worldwide is collected in the 'Gum Belt' of Sudan. The gum is mainly obtained from Acacia senegal (`Hashab'). However, there also exists other gum producing trees. One example is Acacia seyal var. seyal (`Talh') which is known to produce `Talh Gum'. Little information is available about the tapping possibilities of A. seyal var. seyal for gum production.
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of different tapping techniques on gum yield of A. seyal var. seyal. The experiments were conducted at Umfakarin forest reserve (South Kordofan). Both experimental designs adopted were randomised complete block designs with three replications. Each block was divided into four sub-plots and each sub-plot represented an experimental unit. Unit size was 10 x 10m with an average of five trees (treesha). The trees were tapped on the 1st of November and gum was collected four times (1st Dec., 1st Jan., 1st Feb. and 1st March).
In the first experiment, four different tapping tools (`Makmak', `Axe', `Mofar' and `Sonkey') were used. In the second experiment, the trees were tapped on four different positions (low stem: 50cm, middle stem: 150cm, high stem: 200cm and branches) using the `Makmak'. The yield of each tree was determined by weighing the gum after each collection. The results of the first experiment clearly indicate that the `Makmak' was the best tapping tool. The total gum yield was gtree. The tapping with `Axe', `Mohfar' and `Sonkey' caused a total gum yield of 177, 169 and gtree, respectively.
In the second experiment, the middle stem tapping produced the highest gum yield with a total yield of gtree. The low stem tapping, the high stem tapping and the branch tapping gave a yield of 204, 117 and gtree, respectively.
In conclusion, the experiments show that the `Makmak' is the best tapping tool and the middle stem the best tapping position for a high 'Talh Gum' yield.
Keywords: Acacia senegal, Hashab, non wood forest product, Sudan, Talh Gum, tapping