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Wageningen Universiteit (1995)

Parkia biglobosa (Leguminosae) en Afrique de l’Ouest : biosystematique et amelioration

Ouedraogo, A.S.

Titre : Parkia biglobosa (Leguminosae) en Afrique de l’Ouest : biosystematique et amelioration

Auteur : Ouedraogo, A.S.

Université de soutenance  : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 1995

Résumé partiel
The purpose of the research presented here is to strengthen the scientific and technical basis of biodiversity conservation, and use of Parkia biglobosa (African locust bean, néré ). The approach to this research included the gathering of technical and ethnobotanical data. This information can be used to support the development of methods and strategies for conservation, use and improvement of this multi-purpose agroforestry tree species in West and Central Africa.

Overexploitation of land, particularly in densely populated and dry areas, affects the rejuvenation process of this tree. This results in the general aging of néré orchards, particularly in the southern part of its range of distribution.

More than 1600 trees from 5 countries were sampled and various morphometric and phenological observations were used to determine the level of the variation extant in P . biglobosa as well the structure of this diversity. Socio-economic and cultural data were obtained through questionnaires filled out by more than 500 people from different ethnic groups in Burkina Faso and Benin.

The initial hypothesis of the research was : a number of phenotypic characters of the species present clinal variation along longitudinal and latitudinal gradients. This has important implications for selection, conservation and genetic improvement.

The research established the place and importance of néré in the daily life of many rural communities and determined the kinds of variation in P. biglobosa and how to capture this variation in an efficient way. This rich traditional knowledge presents a social image of the tree, as a common resource, which reinforces the cohesion of the group and is a symbol of peace, continuity, and harmonious development in these communities.

Every part of this multi-pupose tree is utilized. The tree functions to diversify production and sources of income in the agricultural system. The fermented seeds produce a protein-rich condiment, soumbala or dawadawa, that fortifies the taste of most sauces. The pulp around the seeds is rich in sugar and is much appreciated by children. Bark and leaves, as well as seeds and pulp, have medicinal properties and are used in the treatment of more than 40 ailments.

Almost every community has a different local name for the tree. Ibis linguistic diversity reflects ancient traditional knowledge about the species. The numerous customs, rites, legends and folklore are evidence of the existence of profound, durable and harmonious interdependence and mutual benefit between persons in the village and trees in the orchard. This knowledge is based on a large number of the tree characteristics such as adaptation, various uses, vigour, resistance to pests and specific diseases, bark texture and fruit production capacity (quantity, quality and periodicity). Various forms of néré are distributed in correlation to the enviromnental conditions.

Mots clés : mimosoideae / fabaceae / forestry / trees / gene banks / genetic resources / germplasm / resource conservation / plant genetic resources / west africa / parkia biglobosa


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