Evaluation of Irvingia (I. gabonensis and I. wombulu .Bail) Trade; a major Non-Timber Forest Product in the Ejagham Forest Reserve of South West Cameroon.
The Study was carried out between 2002-2008 in the Ejagham Forest Reserve (EFR) of South West Cameroon with the objective of examining the production and marketing of Irvingia species and its economic contributions to National and International Economies of Central and West Africa. Questionnaires and a selection of PRA tools were used to source information from collectors/gatherers, on occurrence, marketing and market channels for Irvingia species in the study area. Two varieties of Irvingia (I. gabonensis and I. wombulu) were identified to be sourced and processed for the market from the study area. Collection/gathering and processing techniques for Irvingia were characterized by the use of crude tools. Market prices were found to be determined by a few buyers who acted as cartel. ANOVA and t-test analysis showed significant differences in product quantities within and between zones and the seasons at p<0.05 level. A total of 1,084,924.1 metric tones of Irvingia was produced and traded between 2002 and 2008, valued at about 2,364,385,162 F (CFA) equivalent to US$ 4,728,770.34 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the Economies of Cameroon, Central and West Africa.
Key words: Collection/gathering, Marketing, Irvingia, NTFPs.