Resource Details

Putting participatory domestication into practice in West and Central Africa

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Tchoundjeu, Z., Asaah, E. K., Anegbeh, P., Degrande, A., Mbile, P., Facheux, C., Tsobeng, A., Atangana, A.R., Ngo-Mpeck, M.R. & Simons, A. J. 2006. "Putting participatory domestication into practice in West and Central Africa", Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 53-69.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), African Humid Tropics Region BP 2067 Yaoundé Cameroon Email:
  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), IITA High Rainfall Station, Onne, Nigeria
  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box: 30677, Nairobi, Kenya.


Online at Forests, Trees and Livlihoods

Available free of cost at World Agroforestry

Species Info

  • Dacryodes edulis
  • Irvingia gabonensis


  • This article reviews the process of participatory community tree domestication in central Africa.
  • A first step in the process is the collection of germoplasm, and authors recommend that early and frequent contact is made with farmers to explain the goals of the domestication program. Nurseries that do not require running water or electricity should be established, as should protocols for propagation techniques.
  • In case studies examined, nurseries were planned in coordination between the International Center for Agroforestry Research and local communities, and the two groups divided the funding and supply of nursery materials. No salaries were paid to the farmers working in the nursery.
  • For the first few years, nurseries produced plants simply to supply the farmers with plants, in subsequent years, sufficient plants were available for sale.
  • ICRAF staff trained community members in propagation techniques. Air layering is found to produce shorter trees, a benefit for fruit harvesting, while cuttings from juveniles is found to produce taller trees.
  • Authors note overall benefits of participatory tree domestication: improved breeding, uniform crops, economic diversification, farmer empowerment. Concerns: risk of disadvantaging people relying on NTFPs from natural forest, biopiracy, reduction of genetic diversity, spread of pathogens.
  • Market development regarding prolonged shelf life, improved harvesting and processing techniques are being pursued.

Geographical Region

  • Central Africa
  • West Africa
  • Country

  • General
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