Fruit Morphological Diversity and Productivity of Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) Trees from Kilifi County, Kenya
Monica A. Omondi1, Fredah Karambu Rimberia1, Paul Kinoti1, Cornelius Wainaina1, John Bosco Mukundi1, Justine Nyamweya1, Jens Gebauer2, Katja Kehlenbeck2
1Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya
Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is an indigenous wild fruit tree of great importance in African drylands due to its nutritional and health benefits and contributions to food security and income of local communities. In Kenya, however, the species' potential is not fully utilised and domestication could help in increasing its use. To select superior baobab mother trees for domestication, evaluation of phenotypic diversity is needed. This study aimed at assessing the variability in morphological fruit traits and productivity of baobab trees in Kilifi County, Kenya. Within the frame of the BAOFOOD project funded by the German BMEL, 33 fruiting baobab trees were studied along a transect from Mavueni to Mariakani in Kilifi County. All fruits per tree were counted and 10 fruits each collected for assessment of morphological characteristics including fruit shape, weight and length as well as proportions of pulp. Productivity per tree was calculated and correlation analyses between selected fruit traits were performed.
Keywords: Domestication, fruit size, indigenous fruit tree, pulp proportion, superior mother tree
Contact Address: Monica A. Omondi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya, e-mail: omondimonicaymail.com