Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn. f.): from local constraints to multi-scale improvement of economic, agronomic and environmental performance in an endemic Sudanian multipurpose agroforestry species

Abstract

Shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn. f.) have been for perhaps as long as 3000 years probably the most economically and culturally important tree species in Sudanian agroforestry systems. The existing studies show that the specific magnitude and limits of shea tree presence and shea products’ advantages are highly variable. This synthesis paper gathers and updates most of the scattered knowledge on shea trees and parklands, reported by category of knowledge: socio-economic potential of shea production, current means of enhancing shea domestication, tree impacts on environmental resources and associated crop production. It concludes with a proposal for a systemic and participative bio-economic modelling approach in order to simulate intensification of shea parklands’ production using process-based research results on their economic, agronomic and environmental performance.

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Seghieri, J. Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn. f.): from local constraints to multi-scale improvement of economic, agronomic and environmental performance in an endemic Sudanian multipurpose agroforestry species. Agroforest Syst 93, 2313–2330 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-019-00351-1

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Keywords

  • Africa
  • Intensification
  • Product properties
  • Socio-economic issues
  • Tree functioning
  • Tree impacts
  • Upscaling