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Aromatic plants of tropical central Africa

Jean Koudou
Université de Bangui, Bangui,
Republique Centrafricaine

The essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation from leaves of Lippia multiflora ssp. moldenke growing in Central African Republic has been analysed by GC and GC-MS; its chemical composition is rather atypical in that it contains more than 70% of a rare monoterpenoid compound: 6,7 epoxymyrcene. As far as we know, it is the first time that this compound has been found in an essential oil at such a high level.

Non-timber forest products management problems and prospects: a case study from India

Ajay Mahapatra and C.P. Mitchell
Department of Forestry, University Aberdeen,
Scotland, UK

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) have always been and continue to be an important element of the forest resources in India; however, they have not received due attention. Sustained development of NTFPs within the socioeconomic sphere of forest management in India offers challenging opportunities for forest managers to improve productivity from the forest. An understanding of resource use, flow and economic returns from various NTFPs is essential prior to arguing for a reorientation of the timber-dominated forest policy.

A case study approach has been used to examine trend of out-turn, marketing pattern and contribution of NTFP to the forestry sector in a regional context. Time series analysis was applied to assess the production, nature and extent of commercialization of NTFPs based on secondary data for a 10-year period (1980-89) from one eastern Indian state, Orissa. It was observed that as many as 48 marketable products (bamboo, seeds, leaves, gums, fibres) were harvested from the forest, contributing 54% of the forest revenue, but they were not exploited systematically. Those harvested were mostly exported outside the state, reducing chances of employment generation. Institutional constraints were identified in the collection, and the marketing system, and the need for making value-added products was emphasized. Regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between some influential factors, i.e., physical, economic and institutional, and the production of major non-wood products in the region. The results indicated the need for higher investment in the forestry sector including plantations of NTFP species and suitable procurement prices for better out-turn.

Promotion of non-timber forest products in montane forests of Thailand by agroforestry systems or managed forest

Wolfgang L. Werner
Department of Cultural Geography,
Catholic University, Germany

The montane forests of Thailand harbour a multitude of non-timber forest products, which are used by the local communities. Most of them are collected for subsistence only-mushrooms, honey or herbal medicine. Only few products are seasonally sold in the market, like the chestnuts of Castanopsis. In most cases use and marketing of non-timber forest products is not yet profitable enough to be a means of income for the local population. Development of sustainable but profitable use of these products is a necessity.

The miang gardens of northern Thailand could be a model for other products. Tea trees grow naturally in the montane forests. They are used by Thai villagers to produce green tea (miang). The existing stands are enriched by further tea trees. Some of the undergrowth and canopy is cut to promote growth. A whole village community lives from these `tea-gardens'. The system of enrichment planting by using natural stands of a non-timber forest product can be a model for other plants, as well. This system could be used for benzoin or some wild species of cinnamon, both of which are overcollected because of high demand.

A traditional agroforestry system exists in southern Thailand on the slopes of Khao Luang. The farmers who developed this system collect various non-wood forest products in the montane forests above. Some of the plants could be incorporated into their forest gardens, to increase productivity.

Bamboo resource in the homestead of Chittagong in Bangladesh

Sirajul Islam
Bangladesh Forestry Research Institute,
Chittagong, Bangladesh

A sample survey was conducted on the homestead bamboo plantation of Chittagong District in Bangladesh in 1992. The survey covered a total of 14 rural thanas with a sample of 727 ha of land in the district. The district has a variety of bamboos, among which Bambusa vulgaris, Melocanna baccifera and Bambusa tulda are the most common species. The purpose of the survey was to estimate the total bamboo resource, its cultivated area, households with bamboo cultivation, rate of cultivation and harvest and stocking per hectare and per clump.

A stratified two-stage sampling design was followed for the survey. A sample of 900 households was considered for the purpose. The results showed that there were 3694 ha under bamboo cultivation, 937 764 clumps and 48 821 592 culms. About 42% households have bamboo plantations; 5% plant rhizomes and 29% harvest bamboo every year. The number of bamboos per hectare were estimated to be 15 331, with 69 per clump.

The current overall picture of bamboo production in homestead agroforestry systems in Bangladesh is shown on the basis of the survey results. The role of bamboo as determined by its contribution and economic importance is also mentioned. The necessity for assessment and monitoring of the resource is emphasized.

Potential for exploitation of Eucalyptus species for non-timber benefits in Kenya

Sheila S. Mude
Kenya Forestry Research Institute,
Nairobi, Kenya

The genus Eucalyptus, which is native to Australia and some islands to the north, consists of over 600 species. The planted Eucalyptus are used mainly for pulpwood, charcoal and more recently for sawn timber.

Eucalytpus trees also provide a range of non-timber benefits. These include environmental benefits such as preventing wind erosion, providing shelter for livestock and reducing waterlogging. Eucalyptus species grow rapidly and can survive long periods of adverse conditions. They can thus be used to revegetate degraded areas and reclaim barren, unproductive land.

Another benefit from planting Eucalyptus is the extraction of essential leaf oils. By steam distillation of the leaves, most species of Eucalyptus yield an essential oil that is used in the pharmaceutical, perfurmery and chemical industries.

In countries like Portugal, Spain and South Africa, eucalyptus oil represents an important value-added by-product and generates much needed additional income and employment opportunities. In these countries, eucalyptus oil extraction in an integrated process, with small oil distilleries found next to plantations managed for pulpwood and sawlogs. In some countries, for example, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, a medicinal-type eucalyptus oil is produced from Eucalyptus smithii grown on a coppice system. The oil produced is exported mainly to Australia, France and Germany.

In developing countries such as Kenya, recovery of oil from Eucalyptus trees would be a secondary activity with the `waste leaf' from the felled trees being collected and distilled for oil. At present, eucalyptus oil is being imported to Kenya for use in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Establishing an industry to produce eucalyptus oil would save the country valuable foreign exchange and at the same time supply this much needed essential oil. This would also enhance the prospects of success in Eucalyptus planting activities and the use of this tree as an agroforestry species.

Management of two contrasting tree species in domesticated farmed parklands in Burkina Faso

M. Slingerland & K.F. Wiersum
Sahel Research Station Burkina Faso & Department of Forestry,
Wageningen Agricultural University

In the semi-arid regions of West Africa the farmed parklands form one of the most widespread agroforestry systems. Scattered trees are deliberately maintained in a relatively regular pattern on cultivated fields because of their specific use. Most of these species are multifunctional; in addition to their value for environmental protection and products for household consumption they mostly have also a commercial value. The farmed parklands can be considered as a domesticated landscape in which the structure and distribution pattern of the trees are intimately related to human influences. These influences include purposeful cultivation and management but no specific efforts at selection and breeding. The management practices to which the trees are subjected are not uniform but depend on the architectural characteristics and specific functions of the trees. The practices also depend on the tenure status of land on which the trees are growing.

The variety of management practices that may be employed is demonstrated by how two contrasting commercial tree species are handled, i.e., Parkia biglobosa and Detarium microcarpum. Both species produce edible fruits, but whereas the first is purposefully managed for such production, the second is primarly managed for fuelwood production. The socioeconomic importance of these species is indicated and the purposes and features of the different management practices (such as purpose regeneration, pruning, ringing) are described.

This case study demonstrates that research on tree domestication should focus not only on the posssibilities for selection of trees with certain genetic features but also on the scope for application of specific management practices that are directed at the manipulation of a tree's growing environment and its morphological characteristics. Local people have traditionally been carrying out a variety of tree management practices in their indigenous agroforestry systems, but still little attention has been given to describe and evaluate such practices in a systematic way. Obtaining a better insight in tree management options should form an essential ingredient in research on the potential for adoption of domesticated tree species in agroforestry systems.

Commercial opportunities: the Nepal-India trade in medicinal and aromatic herbs

Carsten S. Olsen
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University,
Department of Economics and Natural Resources, Copenhagen, Denmark

Thousands of tonnes of medicinal and aromatic herbs are harvested each year in the forests and alpine meadows of the Nepal Himalayas. The herbs are sold in roadhead towns in upland Nepal; from there they are transported to wholesalers in the southern part of the country and from there to the main wholesale markets in India. This paper focus on the main commercial species from central Nepal; the trade is analysed with particular reference to distribution of income within the marketing chain. Possibilities for improving current utilization and marketing are discussed.

Tapping of almaciga (Agathis dammara (Lam.) Rich.) for sustained productivity of the tree: the Philippine experience

Arsenio E. Ella
Department of Science and Technology,
Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Laguna, Philippines

Tapping almaciga is a veritable economic activity. The resin obtained from the tree Agathis dammara is called almaciga resin or Manila copal. Although regarded as a minor forest product, it is one of the leading dollar earners for the country. It is used in the manufacture of varnishes, lacquers, soap, paint, printing inks, linoleum, plastics, waterproofing materials and paper sizing. It also can be used as incense in religious ceremonies, as smudge for mosquitoes, as torches and for kindling fires. However, traditional methods like deep tapping, overtapping and frequent rechipping cause death of many standing trees. Considering the deterimental effects caused by such traditional methods of tapping almaciga, a set of scientific techniques was developed at FPRDI. This has been introduced and adopted by the almaciga resin licensees, farmers and out-of-school youths in various parts of the country. This paper covers two parts: (1) the tapping practices of almaciga in the Philippines and (2) biological consideration in almaciga tapping as essential information geared at sustained resin production.

Screening of potential medicinal plants through ethnobotanical survey

Shyamal K. Roy
Department of Botany,
Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Despite the progress made in synthetic organic chemistry and biotechnology, the wild flora in developing countries are still the plants used as drugs in modern and traditional medicines. Plant products have a very good safety record. These drugs contain multiple ingredients of diversified chemical structures. Such a combination of plant constituents often has a synergistic effect, improving the therapeutic action of the known active principals. Most of the ethnobotanical knowledge acquired by local people has been passed on to them by word of mouth from one generation to the next.

In this study, ethnomedicinal information was obtained through interviews with local aborigines of different forest regions of Bangladesh. The plant part used medicinally was as variable as the diseases that the plant is meant to cure. The leaf, shoot, fruit, seed, stem, wood, bark, root and even the whole plant (in some cases) have some medicinal value. Some of the medicinal plants recorded during the present survey were found to have great potential to cure diseases common in this subcontinent. Both farmers and scientists need to know the medicinal and economic value of these plants so this heritage can be used wisely and at the same time conserved for future generations.

Euphorbia tirucalli resin: potential adhesive for wood-based industries

R. Murali and J.G. Mwangi
Moi University, Department of Wood Science and Technology,
Eldoret, Kenya

Euphorbia tirucalli is a common agroforestry species that farmers use as a hedge plant. Its resin was studied for application as an adhesive for wood-based materials. Studies were carried out on various working properties of the resin, and it was found to be comparable with commercial water-based wood glues. Glued wood samples were further tested for shear stress along the bond line. The study indicated that with minor modifications Euphorbia tirucalli resin is a suitable adhesive for wood-based materials, especially where cost and availability are the decisive factors.

Non-timber forest products and their production opportunities in Nepal

Swayambhu M. Amatya
Forest Research Division, FORESC, Kathmandu, Nepal

Medicinal and aromatic plants, as part of forest products other than fuelwood, fodder and timber, have been usually referred to as non-timber forest products (NTFPs). More than 700 species, constituting some 12% of Nepal's vascular flora, are recorded as medicinal plants. Growing these plants under tree species is a new concept in Nepal. This activity could be seen as an agroforestry system in which forestry practices could be combined with medicinal herbs.

An experiment was laid out to study the effect of a tree crop (Dalbergia sissoo) on the yield of an adjoining medicinal herb (Cymbopogan winterianus). A simple alley cropping system was selected with populations of 500, 250 and 125 trees per hectare controlled by uniform tree-row spacing of 10 m. The main aim was to find the effect of the tree crop on the yield of the adjoining medicinal herb.

Data for 3 years on growth and yield of tree and crop indicate that there was no difference in height at the different spacings. There was also no difference in the yield of citronella oil, whether grown with or without trees. The study indicates that small farmers who wish to grow citronella grass for oil production can do so beneath sissoo trees.

Promising new non-timber forest products from southern Senegal

Patrick van Damme, J. de Wolf, V. van den Eynden, J. van Winghem
University of Gent, Gent, Belgium

Local people (Wolof, Fulani and Mandingue) in the Casamance region in southern Senegal depend heavily on the mostly deciduous tropical forest for their livelihood. Crops (maize, groundnut, cotton) are grown on soils cleared from the forest. Cattle graze in the grassy undergrowth. People harvest forest plants for fruits and medicine and other secondary uses. During a 2-year enthnobotanical survey, it was found that some 150 woody plant species were used by the local populations. More than 40 yielded fruits that supplemented the daily diet; some 100 were a source of medicine. The economic potential of some key species that can be used in local agroforestry systems is presented and discussed.

The economic evaluation of rattan in Yaoundé, Cameroon

Tshimala-Tshibangu, C.P. Ngeh and D. Bene
University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon

A study to evaluate the importance of rattan was carried out in Yaoundé, Cameroon, by investigating the transformation channel.

The results obtained through surveys, interviews and observations revealed that rattan-related activities increased significantly in the last 10 years, which coincides with the period of economic deterioration in Cameroon. The rattan supplied to the city of Yaoundé comes mainly from the surrounding villages. These natural stands are overexploited and are becoming farther and farther from the residential areas.

Rattan-based industry is less developed and interests only a limited number of persons (gatherers, manufacturers, producers . . .). Very little, if any, effort has been made to explore its potential to compete in the international market. It is still a man-dominated sector, which has recorded significant increases as unemployment increased during the period of economic crisis.

Present harvesting techniques are inefficient, wasteful and detrimental to regeneration. If this is considered alongside the rate of deforestation, it becomes evident that to ensure that rattan production is sustainable, artificial plantations need to be created. Also, if rattan products are to enter international markets and compete with those from from Asia, a lot needs to be done in the areas of organization, training and infrastructure.

Indigenous knowledge and native tree species

Fergus Sinclair
School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences,
University of Wales, Bangor

The school has developed comprehensive monographic accounts and associated extension manuals on fruiting trees native to the Sudano-Sahelian zone as a contribution toward domesticating them (monographs and manuals on Balanites aegyptiaca and Acacia seyal have been produced and the manuals translated into Hausa, Swahili, Arabic and French; similar treatments of Vitellaria paradoxa and Parkia biglobosa are due out during 1996).

Recent experimental work on the ecophysiology of tree-crop combinations with the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, has found large differences in the ecological combining ability of trees with staple crops on vertisolic soils. For example Prosopis juliflora, naturalized in northern Nigeria, produced twice the woody biomass of the native Acacia nilotica subsp. adstringens but competed less for water with sorghum when pruned as a result of differences in the root response to pruning, leaf phenology and hydraulic architecture. By selecting trees that have a high ecological combining ability and selecting crops that are manipulable by management, researchers have found that simultaneous agroforestry is practicable even in semi-arid conditions. The research suggests the importance of considering resource capture strategies in the domestication process, if trees are to be used.

This work ties in with research on indigenous ecological knowledge using a novel knowledge-based systems approach. For example, in semi-arid Tanzania it was found that farmers were knowledgeable about the aggressive competitiveness of Acacia nilotica with crops. In one farming community in Nepal, farmers have been found to have sophisticated knowledge about fodder value and tree-crop interactions for 90 native species, six of which they have classified to a subspecies level not yet botanically recognized. The Nepali farmers considered six tree crown attributes as important in determining shading and leaf drip effects. Their knowledge of leaf drip erosion was in advance of contemporary science until 1995 and they specified associative tree ideotypes for use in their rain-fed terraced farming. Agroforestry knowledge is now being developed as a means of driving agroforestry research and extension at an institutional level on the basis of analysis of current local and scientific knowledge.

Identification of indigenous fruit trees of the miombo woodlands in Maswa, Tanzania

Anja O. Buwalda, Robert Otsyina and V. Souza-Machado
University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

A study of wild, indigenous fruit trees was carried out in the miombo woodlands of Maswa District in western Tanzania. Individual interviews were conducted at households in 10 villages and with vendors of wild fruits in towns to study how families use the wild fruits in their daily lives.

Respondents made use of 30 different types of wild, indigenous fruit trees in their homes. Tamarindus indica was the priority wild fruit used by 99% of the respondents. Women chose this tree more frequently than did the men. Other important indigenous fruit species were Cathium burtii, Virtex payos, Vitex mombassae and Adansonia digitata. These fruit trees provided people with multiple products such as wood for constructing homes and domestic tools, fodder for livestock, firewood, medicines for all ailments and diseases such as measles, stomach ache, smallpox, goitre, high blood pressure, scabies and bilharzia, and income from the sales of fruit. Selling wild fruit wholesale was generally done by older people; the age of people selling the fruit retail was much lower. Younger people tended to say that the sale of wild fruit contributed significantly to overall income.

Twenty-three different species of wild, indigenous fruit trees were found growing on respondents' land. The majority of respondents owned their land. Younger people generally had acquired land through buying or inheritance and older people through allotment by the village government. Older people tended to say that wild fruit trees belonged to the owner of the field in which they were growing. The fruit from these trees, however, could be gathered and used by anyone, as reported by 39% of the respondents.

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Plate 26. Conference delegates viewing one of the poster papers. (photo: A.B. Temu)

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