African Journal of Biotechnology

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A decision support tool for propagating Miombo indigenous fruit trees of southern Africa

SA Mng’omba, FK Akinnifesi, G Sileshi, OC Ajayi, S Chakeredza, WF Mwase


Indigenous fruit trees (IFTs) contribute to the livelihoods of rural households as sources of food, income and medicine. Conservation and domestication of IFTs involve germplasm selection, collection,
multiplication and evaluation. In addition, biodiversity and genetic improvements have been realized through propagation. However, there are numerous challenges when propagating indigenous trees and
the choice of appropriate propagation techniques determines the success of domestication programme. In this paper we synthesize different propagation methods used for indigenous fruit trees,
and propose a decision support tool based on desirable attributes of individual IFT, technical requirements, expertise of the propagators and relative cost of implementing the technology in addition to field performance and tree management. Depending on circumstances, this decision support tool can be used to quickly choose a propagation method for a given fruit tree so as to maximize on germplasm collection, multiplication and evaluation without compromising field performance and management of the fruit trees.

AJOL African Journals Online