Indigenous Fruits Utilization In Semi-Arid Zones: A Baseline Study In A Savannah Environment In Ghana
A survey was conducted to identify the types and extent of indigenous fruits utilization in the Upper East Region in the northern savannah ecological zone of Ghana. The survey covered 300 respondents in 30 communities. The study showed that the fruits of about 26 indigenous tree species are used by the locals for varied reasons such as medicinal, fruit and cosmetics while the wood and leaves serve purposes such as fuel wood, medicine, provision of shade, fodder, building and carving. All the identified fruits are sold and/or eaten in the raw state except Tamarindus indica, Vitellaria paradoxa, Parkia biglobosa and Adansonia digitata which are processed into secondary products. Some of the species including Vitelaria paradoxa,Parkia bigobosa, Adansonia digitata, Lanea acida, Deterium macrocarpum, Gardenia erubescens and Tamarindus indica were found to be threatened as a result of perennial fires and charcoal burning vis-a vis the erratic natural regeneration patterns of the species. The attitudes of the locals in the study area towards the protection offruit trees on communal andfamily lands, as well as patronage of fruit trees planting was found to be that of indifference. A stakeholder identification and analysis indicated that the various actors in the sector were very much aware of other actors and the roles that they could play to ensure sustainability of the indigenous fruits sector. Recommendation is made on the need for value addition and packaging of more indigenous fruits in the northern savannah zone of Ghana.
Keywords: Indigenous fruits, utilization, conservation, management savannah Ghana