Research helps a tree of gold
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CTA. 2000. Research helps a tree of gold. Spore 88. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46869
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore88.pdf
Prunus africana (or Pygeum africanum) grows in a wild state in the mountains of Kenya, Cameroon and Madagascar. Its bark provides a powder, which has been used over the centuries in traditional medicine for treating male prostate problems. The...
Prunus africana (or Pygeum africanum) grows in a wild state in the mountains of Kenya, Cameroon and Madagascar. Its bark provides a powder, which has been used over the centuries in traditional medicine for treating male prostate problems. The powder is sold in the West under the name pygeum . Currently, 3,500 t of bark are collected each year, with a market value of E 238 million. The average annual yield of one tree is 55 kg, with a farm gate value varying between E 12 and 20. The tree could be a nice little earner, but it is often stripped too frequently, or even cut down, and it is in the process of disappearing. Now, researchers have stepped in to try to rescue this revenue tree, given that demand is bound to grow in years to come. Work is underway at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and IRAD, the Cameroonian Institute for Agricultural and Development Research, to collect the trees seeds, replant them in protected areas and to propogate young plants by keeping a branch from an existing tree in the ground until it puts out roots. When current trials in pilot villages in Kenya have shown the best method of acclimatisation, the researchers plan to select the strongest saplings and give them to farmers. ICRAF PO Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya Fax: +254 2 521001 Email: email@example.com