Domestication of Monodora myristica (Gaertn.) dunal: assessing agroforestry and socio-economic potential in western Cameroon
Irene Franceline Mbouwe1, Jiofack Tafokou René Bernadin2, Tsobeng Alain3, Vladimir Verner1, Matsop Tsafack Sygnola Antoine4, Zacharie Tchoundjeu2
1Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Fac. of Tropical AgriScience - Dept. of Economics and Development, Czech Republic
Monodora myristica (Gaertn.) Dunal (Annonaceae) is an indigenous tree species highly valued by rural households in Cameroon for its medicinal, spicy, culinary, and nutritional properties. The specie becomes more valuable and is usually integrated into agroforestry systems. However, its availability in these agroforestry systems remains less documented. This study assessed the current potential of tree diversity in agroforestry systems and the socio-economic value derived from the sale of seeds. We conducted a floristic inventory in 10 agroforestry plots of 50 m × 20 m randomly chosen in Bangoua and Batchingou villages in West Cameroon. Moreover, 15 producers or collectors in target communities and 57 traders (including wholesalers, retailers and resellers) were randomly selected and interviewed at urban markets Mfoundi and Mokolo using semi-structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise the collected data. The findings reveal that among the 34 species identified in the study area and grouped into 16 botanic families, Monodora myristica was widely represented (48.50%) in both Bangoua and Batchingou villages. The results also showed that the average biomass of seed collected was 315 kg, 875 kg, 105 kg, and 32 kg for collectors or producers, wholesalers, resellers, and retailers, respectively. The average income from 15 kg seeds ranged from US$ 24.23, 11.00, 50.86, and 33.22 on the same selling unit for producers, wholesalers, resellers, and retailers, respectively. This difference along the value chain could result from the low production of the species, the low capacity of farmers in marketing techniques, including negotiation, and their less access to adequate market information. Despite the high commercial value of seeds, promoting their growth in agroforestry systems through domestication could ensure long-term availability and conservation strategies. Local farmers could be empowered with marketing skills to enhance their income and livelihoods.
Keywords: African nutmeg, agroforestry systems, Cameroon, domestication, profit margin, underutilised tree species
Contact Address: Irene Franceline Mbouwe, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Fac. of Tropical AgriScience - Dept. of Economics and Development, Prague-Suchdol, Czech Republic, e-mail: mbouweirenegmail.com