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Mekonnen Z.,Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center | Worku A.,TU Dresden | Worku A.,Forestry Research Center | Yohannes T.,Forestry Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Ethnobotany Research and Applications | Year: 2014

Ethiopia has an estimated one million hectares of natural bamboo forest, the largest in the African continent. Despite the versatile resource base and advanced bamboo utilization at a global scale, its great potential to enhance socio-economic and ecological development remains unrealized in Ethiopia. More importantly, recent observations in the country showed massive bamboo flowering followed by a death that urges management interventions. The objective of this study was to examine the socio-economic contribution of bamboo resources and typify their marketing value chain across major bamboo-growing and -marketing regions in Ethiopia, in order to promote its sustainable management. Structured questionnaires were administered to a total of 345 households to inspect the relative contribution of bamboo income to household economy. Participatory rural appraisal, key informant interviews, group discussions, market assessment, and field observations were made to understand the bamboo marketing system, actors involved, price trends, and factors affecting the bamboo value chain. Results show that crop and livestock production, forest management, and off-farm activities are major sources of income for respondent households. Fifty-three percent of the respondents reported bamboo income. Though it significantly varies across the study localities (p < 0.005), bamboo income contributed up to 11% of the annual cash income of the households, the lowest (3.4%) at Masha and the largest (38%) at Banja and Bahir Dar Zuria Districts. Positive and significant correlation was observed among cash incomes from bamboo, crop, petty trade, and other Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). Producer farmers, village level traders, town and city wholesalers, small- and medium- scale bamboo processing and marketing firms, and town and city consumers are identified as major actors in the bamboo value chain. Fifty-five percent of the respondents indicated presence of poor horizontal and vertical linkage among actors. Access to market is difficult for a majority (88%) of the producers, and hence they sell bamboo culms and other product forms locally, mainly in roadside markets. Despite the inefficient value chains, 85% of the respondents indicated an increasing trend of demand for bamboo products. Market assessment for bamboo culms showed a price elasticity of demand, which is the change in quantity divided by change in price, up to 1.21 in 2008/2009 and 1.47 in 2009/2010. Nevertheless, bamboo utilization in Ethiopia is basically rudimentary, and bamboo product import exceeds export, in contrast to the resource base of the country. It is also noteworthy that the resource base is declining alarmingly in spite of the little interventions in place. An important policy and development lesson include enhancing further research for technology innovation, upgrading and integrating the bamboo value chain, and promoting sustainable management of the resource base. © 2014, University of Hawaii at Manoa. All rights reserved.

Feleke S.,Forest Products Research Utilization Coordination | Haile F.,Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center | Alemu A.,Forestry Research Center | Abebe S.,Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center
Journal of Tropical Forest Science | Year: 2012

The objective of this work was to evaluate the yield and physicochemical characteristics of fixed oil, namely, Podocarpus falcatus oil from different provenances. Mature fruits of P. falcatus collected from four sites (Assela, Kersa, Hirna and Shashemene) were extracted using Soxhlet apparatus with hexane. The average moisture content of P. falcatus seed kernel was 8.31% and the oil yield 52.96% (maximum 57.34% and minimum 50.89% from Hirna and Assela sites respectively) of dry kernel weight. Analysis of variance showed that there was no significant variation in oil yield between provenances. There were significant variations in saponification value and refractive indices between provenances of the oil. The specific density (0.89), saponification value (189.3 KOH mg g-1) and refractive index (1.47) of the oil extracted from kernels of P. falcatus were compared with common edible oil. The oil obtained from P. falcatus seed kernel could therefore be used in the production of edible oil. © Forest Research Institute Malaysia.

Mekonnen Z.,Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center | Worku A.,TU Dresden | Worku A.,Forestry Research Center | Yohannes T.,Forestry Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Ethnobotany Research and Applications | Year: 2013

Ethiopia has one of the largest dry forest and woodland resource bases in the Horn of Africa, predominated by diverse Acacia, Boswellia, Commiphora, and Sterculia species, with an estimated annual production potential of over 300,000 tonnes of commercial gums and resins. However, until recently, less than 1% of this potential has been tapped and traded while the resource bases are degrading fast. Shortage of locality-specific case studies typifying the state of gum and resin production and marketing systems and nationwide socio-economic significance of the resources has delayed development of value-added commercialization of the commodities and integrated management of the resource bases. A study aimed at exploring the value chain of traded gums and resins and their contribution to rural livelihood and national economy was conducted in 11 purposively selected localities in five National Regional States within the major gum-belts in Ethiopia. Two major cities, central for product processing and marketing, were also assessed. A questionnaire survey was administered to 135 randomly selected households, and key stakeholder interviews, group discussions, and field observations were carried out following the value chain (from producers to exporters). Results showed that one or more of the seven gums and resins (frankincense, myrrh, opopanax, hagar, gum arabic, gum talha, and gum gumero) were produced and traded at the studied districts. While frankincense marketing dominated the northern part, gum arabic, myrrh, and opopanax are most popular in the south and southeastern part of the country. About 93% of the interviewed households engaged in collecting, marketing, or both activities. Gums and resins contributed up to 14% of the average annual cash income of the households. However, a significant difference (P < 0.001) was found in the amount collected and income generated per household and locality. Strong correlation was observed between cash income from gums and resins and off-farm activities (R = 0.74) and other types of non-timber forest products like honey (R = 0.72, α = 0.01). However, weak correlation was observed between incomes from gums and resins and crop and livestock production. Despite the observed inefficient value chain, the gum and resin resources have considerable contributions to the national economy. For instance, the annual average revenue from three districts in Tigray National Regional State was USD 882,000 in 2010. Between 2002 and 2010, about 2,306 tonnes of different gums and resins were traded and average revenue of USD 3,220,542 was obtained in one district in the same region. At the national level, between 1997 and 2010 about 6,174 tonnes of gum arabic and about 33,865 tonnes of other gums and resins were exported, and more than USD 72 million were gen-erated. Responding to what sort of institutional arrangement governs the value chain and use of gums and resins resources at the present situations, about 41% of the respondents asserted customary and national legal arrangements, while 56% mentioned alternative systems as means of conflict resolution. Key policy and development interventions that could enhance the socio-economic importance of the gum and resin value chain at the local and national levels, while also increasing responsibility and commitment towards long-term management of the resource bases, have been recommended.

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