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Domestication and development of baobab and tamarind (DADOBAT) 

Baobab and tamarind are multipurpose, widely-used tropical fruit trees with high potential for (semi-)arid areas. Although they remain underutilised.

The project addresses new crop/niche development through a holistic research approach.

Multidisciplinary activities are envisaged:

  • field characterisation,
  • eco-physiological characterisation for drought stress tolerance/resistance,
  • domestication,
  • development of improved cropping techniques,
  • characterisation of nutritional/medicinal properties of primary/secondary products,
  • production and marketing chain analysis.
Biodiversity, Food Security, Income Generation, Nutrition 
Benin, Ghana, Mali, Senegal 
Plant Genetic Resources, Post Harvest / Processing, Socio-economics 
Strengthening Partnerships and Capacities,Enhancing Marketing,Funding Research and Development of underutilized species

WP1: Field characterization of plant material

  1. Identify superior tamarind and baobab accessions that are adapted to different agro-ecological zones in the 4 countries and are resistant/tolerant of (a)biotic stresses.
  2. Match folk classification to formal characterisation.
  3. Establish documented germplasm collections.
  4. Identify production potential from complete tree harvesting.
  5. Identify and document pollination and fruit set behaviour for increased yield and production.
  6. Identify genetic parameters explaining (a)biotic stress tolerance/resistance.
  7. Identify and document pests/diseases/parasitic weeds… that live off the species.

WP2: Eco-physiological characterisation of plant material for understanding drought stress tolerance/resistance

  1. Characterise (field) tamarind and baobab accessions for eco-physiological traits (transpiration, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency) related to drought stress.

  2. Characterise (laboratory) field-collected (and greenhouse-grown) tamarind and baobab accessions for eco-physiological traits (transpiration, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency) related to drought stress.

WP3: Domestication

  1. Identify best propagation (from seeds, cuttings, and grafting) methods.
  2. Identify best potting mixture.
  3. Identify reasons for dormancy and best methods for breaking of dormancy.
  4. Identify superior provenances in terms of growth and stress resistance.

WP4: Development of improved cropping techniques

  1. Identify management practices for optimal leaf production and quality, and plant growth and development.
  2. Identify optimal irrigation method, watering frequency for optimal yield and WUE.
  3. Identify fertiliser needs and establish influence of fertiliser on plant growth and development.

WP5: Characterisation of nutritional and medicinal properties of primary and secondary products of tamarind and baobab

  1. Document ethnobotanical characteristics/knowledge in the four south countries.
  2. Identify mineral and organic compounds from leaf, fruit, seed and bark materials for nutrition and medicine.
  3. Identify (an)organic compound profiles from processed goods.
  4. Document traditional processing.
  5. Identify ‘modern’ processing methods for added value and increased (nutraceutical) value.
  6. Identify optimal storage and processing methods.
  7. Identify bio-availability of minerals (in baobab).

WP6: Production and marketing chain analysis

  1. Identify international (niche) market opportunities for baobab and tamarind products.
  2. Document present-day local market characteristics of baobab and tamarind.
  3. Develop (inter-)national marketing strategy for baobab and tamarind.

WP7: Documentation and information dissemination

  1. Spread all the scientific and technical information to all the actors along the agro-food chain.
  2. Inform stakeholders about the results delivered by the project.
  3. Disseminate relevant information to end-users.
  4. Disseminate relevant information to growers of tamarind and baobab.
Adansonia digitata, Tamarindus indica 


European Commission DG-RTD Directorate International Scientific Cooperation SDME 1049 Brussels Belgium 
2,099,944 € or 2,792,547.11 US$ 

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Via dei Tre Denari 472/A, 00057 Maccarese, Rome, Italy
Tel: ++39 06 6118 292 - Fax: ++39 06 6197 9661
[underutilized-species@cgiar.org ] [ www.underutilized-species.org ]