Tree commodities, including cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, cashew and others are an important part of African economies. They help sustain the livelihoods of millions of farmers and workers in the value chains- up to 400 million people indirectly. Tree commodities are also important foreign exchange earners for many economies, playing a central role in the Balance of Payments, and therefore influencing the abilities of countries to service debts, etc. Rapid growth in tree commodity portfolios and areas in Africa have also come at the expense of several ecosystems including forests and savannahs. This growth has also impacted climate change dynamics. These diverse impacts on the economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of life in these countries impose a policy attention imperative, to ensure balance, equity and efficiency.
Nzyoka J, Minang P A, Wainaina P