Quantitative Ethobotany of Gnetum africanum Welw. (Gnetaceae) in Massoumboum, Littoral Region of Cameroon

  •  Jean Lagarde Betti    
  •  Pascal Eric Billong Fils    
  •  Prisca Toffon    
  •  Eric Wété    
  •  Jules Romain Ngueguim    
  •  Oumar Farick Njimbam    
  •  Stéphanie Tientcheu Womeni    


Gnetum africanum Welw. is a plant specie of Central and West Africa, a Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) with high nutritional, medicinal and economic value. In Cameroon, its leaves are recognized by the forestry administration as a special product. Strong demand combined with destructive harvesting techniques has resulted in its rarity in its distribution area. The objective of this work is to characterize the harvesting and trade of G. africanaum, and to assess its abundance (density and structure) in order to appreciate the economic value of the Lehman agroforest system (ALM) based in Massoumboum, a village located at 30 Km of Douala town, the economical capital of Cameroon. An ethnobotanical survey was conducted among harvesters and sellers of G. africanum in the ALM and in adjacent markets. An inventory of G. africanum stems and leaves was carried out at an overall sampling rate of 9.52%. The study revealed that, harvesting of G. africanum is freely done by women, youngers and elders. They start their activity early in the morning and convey their products to markets located in the periphery and inside the city of Douala. The price of the gramme is too high in the periphery than in the city, averaging 0.58 CFA franc. This price is high in the dry season due to the scarcity of other agricultural vegetables. The inventories conducted revealed densities of 6 191 stems/ha and 119 548 leaves/ha, with the high density of leaves obtained in less perturbed plots. The combination of field data (forest inventories) with those obtained in the markets (trade data), what we call « quantitative ethnobotany », allowed us to appreciate the temporal economic value (EV) of the ALM. This EV ranges from 500 000 - 700 000 CFA franc, for an average value of 37 059.9 CFA franc /ha. If well managed, G. africanum can contribute not only to the economy of the women-harvesters, but also to the economy of the ALM. The glaring development challenge of the background of what precedes is the development of non-detriment findings (NDF) for G. africanum in Cameroon. These consist of setting tools which aims to sustain the resource and trade such as the delimitation of Gnetum Allocation Units (GAU), as well as the development and implementation of simple management plans (SMPs).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1927-0461
  • Issn(Onlne): 1927-047X
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: semiannual

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