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Consumer preferences for Uapaca kirkiana fruits in Zambia

Moombe, Kaala B., Ham, Cori, Clarke, Jeanette, Franzel, Steven, Ackerman, Pierre
Forests, trees and livelihoods 2014 v.23 no.4 pp. 248-260
Uapaca kirkiana, butter, consumer preferences, developmental stages, domestication, farmers, forests, fruit consumption, fruit trees, fruits, jams, livelihood, market development, markets, nutritive value, purchasing, questionnaires, stakeholders, surveys, sweetness, syrups, Zambia
Zambian farmers and other stakeholders have identified Uapaca kirkiana as a priority indigenous fruit tree species for domestication. Successful domestication of trees depends on understanding and expanding the market demand for tree products. This study aims at creating a better understanding of consumer preferences for U. kirkiana fruit in Zambia. The study was conducted in the Chipata and Ndola districts of Zambia through a process of questionnaire surveys. A total of 188 consumers were consulted regarding their perception and buying behaviour of indigenous fruits. The study reveals that there is a strong demand for the fresh and secondary products of the U. kirkiana fruit in Zambia. Among the six principal reasons for the direct consumption of the fruit is its sweetness and nutritional value. Jam, butter and syrup are the most desired processed products from U. kirkiana fruit.Indigenous fruit marketing in Zambia is mostly informal and at a nascent development stage. Fruit sellers can improve their marketing efforts by considering the demands of consumers. National market development strategies can assist with the promotion of indigenous fruits and also focus on the processing of such fruits.