SMP 2129 Create a long-term R&D collaboration to domesticate Allanblackia in Africa

Allanblackia is a tropical tree genus which grows throughout Equatorial Africa, including Ghana (A. parviflora), Nigeria (A. floribunda) and Tanzania (A. stuhlmannii). Allanblackia seeds contain oil with unique properties for high quality margarine production. Allanblackia offers great opportunities for smallholder farmers, local communities, the food industry, and society. Smallholder farmers can integrate Allanblackia in their cocoa plantations to increase and diversify their income with agroforestry.

The final goal of the consortium is to solve the key issues that limit the supply of Allanblackia seeds, allowing companies to build a strong demand for farmers to produce Allanblackia. Ultimately this should lead to more cash income for farmers in Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania, contribute to biodiversity protection, and to a sustainable production of vegetable oils of superior quality. These aims are fully in line with the ambitions of the Dutch government, as evidenced by the support letter of the Agricultural Counselor of the Embassy in Accra. A multi-year research program is needed to solve the key challenges in Allanblackia seed production and create incentives for farmers to plant and cultivate Allanblackia. In the long run Allanblackia needs to achieve parity with other oil crops in terms of cost, yield, and sustainability in order to become a mainstream crop.