Socio-economic contribution of African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne) toward sustainable livelihood in eastern, Nigeria
Home gardens provide perspective for conservation of plant genetic resources while contributing to improving livelihoods. The Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) the conserve are gathered for household consumption and commercial uses; they have formed an inherent part of rural economy for millennia and equally serve as safety net during periods of adverse environmental changes such as famine due to crop failure. Accordingly, the study was carried out to examine the level of income generation, processing, distribution of sales as well as the importance of Treculia africana to food security in Southeastern, Nigeria in 2015. The study was conducted in Okigwe agricultural zone, Imo State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed for this study. Data collected was analysed using descriptive statistic. The results revealed that majority of the respondents were female (53.70%) and were married (84.40%). The source of the product was mainly from the home gardens (76.70%) and the reason for harvesting was for income generation and subsistence use (household consumption) (77.78%).The product was best harvested during rainy season (68.00%) when fruits are most abundant (48.90%). Majority of respondents (57.80%) sold Treculia africana kernel in cigarette cup ranging from ₦110−₦160 while the weekly income was between ₦2500−₦4500. The major problem affecting price rate of Traculia fruits and kernels was labour (25.20%), transportation (16.90%) and local tax (22.20%). It is therefore, recommended that appropriate conservation measures be put in place using sustainable policy framework that would enhance its in situ and ex situ conservation and equally ensure it protracted use in order to increase its abundance and availability.
Keywords: Income, dietary, culinary values, African breadfruit, ukwa, sustainable Livelihood