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The role of trees in the production and consumption systems of the rural populations of Senegal

The role of trees in the production and consumption systems of the rural populations of Senegal

Madicke Niang
Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), South-Central Sector, Koalack, Senegal

Abstract

In the Thies region of Senegal, the Serer practice a combination of agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry. The species most valued in the southern part of this region for their multiple domestic and industrial uses are Borassus flabellifer (palmyra), Adansonia digitata, and Acacia albida, which are cultivated together with millet, sorghum, and groundouts, or in stands for livestock to browse.

Palmyra is used by Catholics and animists for wine-making and by Muslims for other products Although a system of agro-forestry may be said to exist among the Serer of western central Senegal, research needs to be conducted into ways of improving the system, notably by determining optimal spacing; the influence of trees on soil fertility and microclimate; ways of developing mineral fertilizers; and the profitability of tree-derived products.