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ACACIAGUM

Innovative management of Acacia senegal trees to improve resource productivity and gum arabic production in arid and semi-arid sub-Saharan Africa

ACACIAGUM was a regional project developed under the overall coordination of CIRAD Foret and funded by the European Union INCO DEV 6th Framework Programme. The project stared in July 2007 to 2011. The participating countries are Cameroon, Kenya, Niger and Senegal. The project was a scientific research type project that provided a unique north-south collaboration where relevant expertise and resources were availed for addressing problems of food security and livelihood faced by developing countries. In addition, African scientists combined their expertise in equal partnership with European counterparts to improve resource productivity and gum Arabic production resulting in a high quality multi-displinary research approach. The overall objective of the ACACIAGUM project was to combine high gum quality with increased gum production and sustainable tree management for improved rural livelihood. The specific objectives were:

1. Documentation of traditional ecological knowledge on the management of A. Senegal resources for various uses
2. Identification of existing marketing networks and development of suitable trade chains for enhanced benefit sharing, especially among the target rural communities
3. Understanding tree eco-physiology in relation to gum yield and quality
4. Evaluation of genetic diversity in relation to gum yield and quality
5. Understanding tree-soil interactions for improved gum quality and rehabilitation of degraded sites
6. Dissemination of relevant information for informed decision making and better outcomes by target groups

The specific objectives were translated into 6 work packages implemented by participating institutions in Africa and Europe. The first five work packages (WP) were research based while WP6 ensured that existing relevant information generated by WP1-5 is properly packaged and availed to different stakeholders in a form that is appropriate to each of them. The 6 Work Packages (WP) are as follows:

a). WP 1 Traditional ecological knowledge
b). WP 2 Marketing networks
c). WP 3 Tree eco-physiology
d). WP 4 Genetic and gum quality
e). WP 5 Tree-soil interactions
f). WP 6 Dissemination and transfer of technologies

NGARA participated as one of the partners and took a lead role in the work package (WP6) on information dissemination and transfer of technologies. The Participating Institutions were:

1. Departement PERSYST du Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD), Montpellier, France
2. Wageningen University (WU), Wageningen, The Netherlands
3. Universite Abdou Moumouni (UNIAMEY), Niamey, Niger
4. Natural Environment Research Council, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh, UK
5. Pôle de Recherches Appliquées au Développement des Savanes d'Afrique Centrale/ Institute of Agricultural Research for Development, North Centre, Agroforestry and Forestry Program
6. (PRASAC/IRAD) Maroua, Cameroon
7. Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), Dakar, Senegal
8. Institut Senegalais de Recherche Agricole (ISRA), Dakar, Senegal
9. The Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa.

From the archives

Innovative management of Acacia senegal trees to improve resource productivity and gum arabic production in arid and semi-arid sub-Saharan Africa ( ACACIAGUM).

This is mainly a research type of project developed under the overall coordination of CIRAD Foret and funded by EU INCO-DEV programme. Cameroon, Kenya, Niger and Senegal are the participating countries.

The project started in July 2007 and will run for four years The specific objectives of the ACACIAGUM project include:

1. Documentation of traditional ecological knowledge on the management of A. senegal resources for various uses
2. Identification of existing marketing networks and development of suitable trade chains for enhanced benefit sharing, especially among the target rural communities
3. Understanding tree eco-physiology in relation to gum yield and quality
4. Evaluation of genetic diversity in relation to gum yield and quality
5. Understanding tree-soil interactions for improved gum quality and rehabilitation of degraded sites
6. Dissemination of relevant information for informed decision making and better outcomes by target groups

Each of the six objectives above has been elaborated into work packages and NGARA is participating as one of the partners and taking a lead role in the objective/work package (WP6) on information dissemination and transfer of technologies.

The National Project Coordinators (NPCs) of the Acacia Operation Project (AOP) in Kenya, Niger and Senegal have been included in the initiatives and have been requested to establish synergies with FAO/AOP initiative. A kick-off meeting was held in Montpellier France in the second week of November 2007.

At this meeting it was decided that CIRAD and NGARA work together in developing a website for the project where information about the project and other related information will be posted. This is still under construction and the website address will be given once it is finalized.

A regional workshop is scheduled to be held in Kenya, Isiolo District in the last week of November 2008
Links
ACACIAGUM flyer
ACACIAGUM Newsletter 1_08
ACACIAGUM Newsletter 1_09
inco-acaciagum.cirad.fr/