Putting Participatory Domestication into Practice in West and Central Africa

Putting Participatory Domestication into Practice in West and Central Africa


This article reviews the process of participatory community tree domestication in central Africa.

Research Goals & Methods

In case studies examined, nurseries were planned in coordination between the International Center for Agroforestry Research and local communities, and the two groups divided the funding and supply of nursery materials. No salaries were paid to the farmers working in the nursery. ICRAF staff trained community members in propagation techniques. 

Conclusions & Takeaways

During the collection of germoplasm,  early and frequent contact should be made made with local farmers to explain the goals of the domestication program. Nurseries that do not require running water or electricity should be established, as should protocols for propagation techniques. The authors note overall benefits of participatory tree domestication: improved breeding, uniform crops, economic diversification, farmer empowerment. Concerns include the risk of disadvantaging people relying on NTFPs from natural forest, biopiracy, reduction of genetic diversity, and the spread of pathogens. 



TCHOUNDJEU Z, ASAAH EK, ANEGBEH P, et al. PUTTING PARTICIPATORY DOMESTICATION INTO PRACTICE IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods. 2006;16:53–69. doi:10.1080/14728028.2006.9752545.


  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), African Humid Tropics Region, Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), IITA High Rainfall Station, Onne, Nigeria
  • World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya.