Create a long-term R&D collaboration to domesticate Allanblackia and make it available for agroforestry systems in Africa

Bert van ReesProject

Projecttitel: Create a long-term R&D collaboration to domesticate Allanblackia and make it available for agroforestry systems in Africa
Projectnummer: SMP-21.29
Missie:
Land: Netherlands
Looptijd: 2021
Budget: € 40.000
Projectleider: Rene Smulders
Kennisinstelling: Wageningen University & Research

Allanblackia is a tropical tree growing in Equatorial Africa. Its seeds contain oil with unique properties for high quality margarine production. Smallholder farmers can integrate Allanblackia in their cocoa plantations to plant Allanblackia trees exist as the trees will sequestre CO2 during their lifespan. The SMP project will identify the key challenges of Allanblackia production, develop research approaches to address these challenges, prioritize the key aspects, build a consortium to execute the R&D program, and last but not least to seek funding for the research program. If the production challenges can be addressed, Allanblackia holds great potential to improve smallholder farmers’ cash flow and economic security, contribute to improved biodiversity and agroecological resilience, and create a substantial supply of sustainably produced Allanblackia oil. This contributes to several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as the innovation Agendas to increase and diversify their income with agroforestry, and generate shade to mitigate effects of global warming. Allablackia seeds are harvested and sold at times when farmers need to buy inputs for food crops. Despite the international demand, potential Allanblackia farmers face various challenges. Obtaining good planting material, waiting 7-12 years before trees start fruiting, a high frequency of non-fruiting male trees, and undeveloped agronomic practices are all reasons farmers are hesitant with investments in Allanblackia cultivation.
This SMP project will explore the opportunities to develop a multi-year R&D program to solve the key challenges that withhold farmers from investing in planting Allanblackia trees. The project team already sees opportunities for early detection of non-fruiting male plants and to implement Allanblackia trees in existing cocoa plantations. The consortium sees further opportunies to create incentives for farmers of T&U and AgriFood. The proposal is supported by the Agricultural Counselor of the Dutch Embassy in Accra and by IDH.

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