Correlates of Product Quality of Soumbala, a West African Non-timber Forest Product
Keywords:Commercialisation, NTFP, Burkina Faso, Local plant knowledge, Management practises, Production processing, Nutritional composition
Knowledge of the correlates of product quality is a prerequisite for further commercialisation of soumbala, a food product extracted from the leguminous tree Parkia biglobosa. In this study qualitative and quantitative data derived from interviews of producers and expert users are used to estimate the influence of Parkia biglobosa management practises, soumbala product processing practises, and nutritional composition of soumbala on perceived soumbala quality. Several variables on management practises correlated with high quality soumbala as revealed by binary logistic regression, with quality as the dependent variable and six management related variables as independent variables. Variables relating to product processing were examined using qualitative data from group sessions, gathering all the producers in a given village. Finally the relationship between nutritional compositions and soumbala quality was determined. The results show that local knowledge, management practises, and product processing practises are correlated with soumbala quality, whilst nutritional composition is a poor predictor of soumbala quality.
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