African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6693

Full Length Research Paper

No appropriate technology so far for Ricinodendron heudelotii (Baill. Pierre ex Pax) processing in Cameroon: Performance of mechanized kernel extraction

Mbosso Charlie1, 3*, Degrande Ann¹, Tabougue Patric¹, Franzel Steven1, Van Noordwijk Meine2, Van Damme Patrick³, Tchoundjeu Zac¹ and Foundjem-Tita Divine3
[1]World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), West and Central Africa Region, P. O. Box 16317 Yaoundé, Cameroon. 2World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Head Quarter Office, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 3University of Ghent, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Plant Production, Laboratory of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Ethnobotany, Coupure links 653, B 9000 Gent, Belgium.
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 June 2013
  •  Published: 30 November 2013


Ricinodendron heudelotii kernels are an important source of income for rural women in the humid tropics of Africa. Manual kernel extraction is time consuming and efforts have been made to mechanize the process. However, mechanical damage to kernels remains an issue. Within the socio-economic and resource ecology context in the central region of Cameroon, a prototype machine for extracting njansang kernels was developed and has been tested since 2007, then evaluated using a learning selection model. Surveys with users and non-users suggested a shift towards male and younger users. The advantages of rapid kernel extraction are partly offset by the requirement to sort out broken kernels, leading to a total time requirement of 60.87 min for manual processing and 2.08 + 39.56 min for mechanical extraction + manual sorting. The technology needs further improvement to deliver the expected increase in labour efficiency and economic advantages for rural women.


Key words: Cameroon, adoption, agroforestry, NTFPs, smallholder producers.