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Tropentag, September 20 - 22, 2017 in Bonn

"Future Agriculture: Social-ecological transitions and bio-cultural shifts"

Utilizing the Nutritional Potential and Secondary Plant Compounds of Neglected Fruit Trees and Other Plant Species of the Walnut-Fruit Forests in Kyrgyzstan

Lars Caspersen1, Alina Joana Gombert1, Martin Hommels1, Markus Deller1, Marceli Wiktor Pawolka1, Jan Schlossarek1, Bermet Djurupova2, Klara Dzhakypbekova1, Jens Gebauer1, Gulnaz Kaseeva3, Ralf Kuchenbuch4, Asylbek Kulmyrzaev5, Davlet Mamadjanov6, Martin Maurer7, Rustam Nurmatov8, Zbynek Polesny9, J├╝rgen Pretzsch10, Zakirhodja Sarymsakov11, Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt12, Jamila Smanalieva13, Vladimir Verner9, Florian Wichern1, Niels Thevs14, Sylvia Moenickes1, Florian Kugler1, Dietrich Darr1

1Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Fac. of Life Sciences, Germany
2Kyrgyz-Kazakh University, Food Technology, Kyrgyzstan
3AgroLead, Kyrgyzstan
4Kyrgyz National Agriculture University, Kyrgyzstan
5Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, Department of Food Engineering, Kyrgyzstan
6National Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, Institute of Walnut and Fruit Crops, Kyrgyzstan
7Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Germany
8Nuristan Ltd., Kyrgyzstan
9Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Fac. Tropical AgriSciences, Dept. of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Czech Republic
10Technische Universität Dresden, Inst. of International Forestry and Forest Products: Tropical Forestry, Germany
11National Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, Institute of Walnut and Fruit Crops, Kyrgyzstan
12University of Central Asia, Mountain Societies Research Institute, Kyrgyzstan
13Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, Food Technology, Kyrgyzstan
14World Agroforestry Centre, Central Asia Office, Kyrgyzstan


Forests make important contributions to safeguarding agricultural production, food security and nutrition of rural and urban populations. The walnut-fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan constitute a unique resource in this regard. Simultaneously, they are of global importance as a biodiversity hotspot. However, current patterns of forest management are unsustainable, large parts of the forest are overaged and benefits derived from these forests are unequally distributed among local populations. Walnut (Juglans regia L.) kernels have traditionally been used for human diets and constitute an economically important product of these forests. Although the walnut value chain in Kyrgyzstan is of significant economic importance, the level of domestic processing is low and locally manufactured walnut products are of low quality. The SUSWALFOOD project (funding code 01DK17016) aims at contributing to the development of nutritious food from neglected and underutilised plant species of the Kyrgyz Walnut forests, thereby improving local food security, promoting sustainable forest management, and increasing local incomes.
Initial analyses have investigated timber growth of walnut trees and quality parameters of respective walnuts from various parts of the forest. Regarding quality parameters, nut dimensions, walnut weight, kernel weight, and rupture force were determined resulting in a classification of the investigated trees. Results show that most trees are old and may therefore be anticipated to display declining walnut yields, underlining the need for forest rejuvenation. Timber and walnut quality varied greatly across the study area. These results will facilitate the selection of superior trees for forest regeneration. Further work in this project aims to analyse the nutritional composition and secondary plant compounds of other selected plant species of the walnut forests and their potential use in new food products; further investigate the morphology, diversity, and plant-soil interaction of these species to determine their biological productivity and to support sustainable management and conservation efforts; and finally examine the socioeconomic and gender-specific impacts of traditional and contemporary utilisation including market chains and cost-benefit assessments at household level.

Keywords: Bioeconomy, Central Asia, food security, forest-based rural development, fruit tree, nutrition, value chain

Contact Address: Dietrich Darr, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Marie-Curie-Str. 1, 47533 Kleve, Germany, e-mail: dietrich.darr@hochschule-rhein-waal.de

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