Endogenous knowledge on tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) in northern Benin

Type Working Paper - Traditional forest-related knowledge and sustainable forest management in Africa. IUFRO world series
Title Endogenous knowledge on tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) in northern Benin
Volume 23
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 57-62
URL http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/ebook/serien/yo/IUFRO_WS/ws23.pdf#page=63
Tropical ecosystems are full of multipurpose tree species daily used by rural communities. This study assessed knowledge on Tamarindus indica’s in northern Benin. The aim of the study was to document its importance in local communities’ livelihood in order to built sustainable strategies of conservation and utilization. Data were collected using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative analyses have been made using SPSS ordination statistical packages. Tamarind played an important role in local communities’ livelihoods as showed by its many purposes. Most commonly the fruit (pulp) was used to make beverages, as laxative and purgative and seemed to be the only one part sold. Barks were frequently used as a medicine in hardly curable wounds treatment while leaves were used to make porridge and as antibiotic. Anthropogenic activities and practices as far as mature trees mutilating, seedling removing and fire were the principal threats to the species. Results did not support the hypothesis which assumes that tamarind trees often grow on mounds in arid ecosystems do to the species’ soil requirements. This study indicates that tamarind should be taken into account as far as defining community priorities for scientific study in relation to forest resources management is concerned. More interests are called on the species’ contribution to households’ incomes, local economies and its ecology as far as its domestication is concerned.

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