Factors Determining the Use and Cultivation of Moringa oleifera Lam. in the Republic of Benin

Abstract

Factors Determining the Use and Cultivation of Moringa oleifera Lam. in the Republic of Benin. Despite its nutritious leaves and considerable economic importance, the agroforestry species Moringa oleifera Lam. is still considered a neglected and underutilized species. To contribute to the development of an effective valorization strategy for M. oleifera, this study identified factors driving its use and cultivation in Benin. To this end, an ethnobotanical survey through individual interviews (n = 801) was performed in 46 localities across biogeographical zones in Benin. Conditional inference tree–based classification models allowed us to identify factors that mostly influence the use, cultivation, and cultivation system of M. oleifera. Awareness, knowledge of the plant biology, gender, cultivation system, and age are factors influencing the use of M. oleifera. Cultivation systems are driven by ethnicity, knowledge of the plant’s biology, and the main socioprofessional activity. Effective valorization of M. oleifera requires awareness rising on its usefulness while providing knowledge on the plant biology.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge help from local authorities, populations, and farmers during data collection.

Funding

KG was supported by a National Doctoral Scholarship of the government of the Republic of Benin. Additional support was obtained from an AGNES (African-German Network of Excellence in Science) Junior Research Grant attributed to VKS.

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Correspondence to Valère K. Salako.

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Gandji, K., Salako, V.K., Fandohan, A.B. et al. Factors Determining the Use and Cultivation of Moringa oleifera Lam. in the Republic of Benin. Econ Bot 72, 332–345 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12231-018-9424-4

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Key Words

  • Africa
  • agroforestry system
  • driving factors
  • Moringa oleifera L.
  • use