Status of vegetative propagation of baobab: A review
The African baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is a large tree of great socio-economic and cultural importance in Africa, with almost all the parts of the species used for various purposes. A major concern about baobab fruit pulp production is the long time it takes for first fruiting (about 15 years). Vegetative propagation offers several advantages with regard to consumers’ preferences and precociousness of fructification. The objective of this study was to synthesise existent knowledge related to vegetative propagation methods of baobab and examine future prospects for improving the species propagation. This will ultimately contribute to better integrate baobab-based agroforestry systems into the diversification and poverty alleviation programmes. It is clear that cutting, grafting and in vitro multiplication are the vegetative propagation methods already tested on baobab. The success of grafting methods ranges from 10 to 89%, depending on the technique used. The Murashige and Skoog environment, supplemented with or without growth regulator hormones is by far the best condition for the in vitro reactivity of baobab explants, regardless of their types. With regards to cuttings, the average success rates stand around 30% when Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) hormone is used. Other approaches such as marcotting techniques are yet to be tested and data on fruit production using these techniques are still needed in order to determine the best promising method for rapid and efficient vegetative propagation of baobab.