08 June 2011, Thikene Ndiaye - Gum arabic or sap being extrcted from an acacia tree. When the trees have reached maturity, the sap is collected by FAO project beneficiaries and sold for processing. Through a middle man the gum arrives at the Valdafrique Processing Plant near the capital of Dakar where it is processed and sold to Europe, the US and elsewhere. FAO Project: GTFS/RAF/387/ITA - Acacia Operation. Support to Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Soil Degradation Control in the Gums and Resins Producer Countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, Sudan) Objectives
Gum arabic, myrrh and frankincense are abundant in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa. These local resources present the way forward to sustainable management and development of the Sahel regions, which naturally have fewer options due to difficult environmental conditions. However, irregularity of supply accompanied by fluctuating prices and variable quality from some sources results in unfavourable long-term effects on the demand of these commodities. As a result, producing countries are experiencing problems in relation to commercialization and ensuring a value-added product in relation to international markets. A coordinated strategy among producer countries and partners is therefore needed to capitalize on the existing opportunities and address the constraints. In fact a coordinated strategy will enable producing countries to have better control of the international trade and share different experience in the area of production, processing, quality control and marketing. The project seeks to address these areas and prepare a 10-year plan for development of gum and resin production in the framework of the NGARA network.