Forest crops of spice value in Benin-city: Their uses and marketing | Abstract
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Forest crops of spice value in Benin-city: Their uses and marketing

Author(s): Oboho E. G., Egbuche C. T. and Ogbolu R. U.

Spices are essential components of food as well as having medicinal value. Study set out to investigate the forest species of spice value and their marketing. Six markets were purposively selected in Benin City at 50% sampling intensity using semi-structured questionnaire supplemented with one on one oral interview and direct observation. Fourteen forest spice species were identified. They were Xylopia aethiopica, Monodora myristica, Cordia millenii, Thymus vulgaris, Raphiosylis beninensis, Parinaria excelsa, Aframomumdanielli, Aframomum melegueta, Corandrium sativum, Piper guineense, Celtis soyauxii, Tetrapleura tetraptera, Zingiber officinalis, and Piper umbellata. They were spread across ten families and their form in use were seed (57.4%), leaf (14%), stem (14%), rhizome (7%) and fruit pulp (7%). Spice parts were collected by harvesters from the wild mostly picked from forest floor (60%), plucking (30%) and tree shaking (10%). They were sold in processed and unprocessed forms and stored using containers with tight lids, nylon, or jute bags. Processed spices could be mixed in varying proportions depending on customer preferences. Indicated uses were pepper, black and banga soups as well as promotion of well being in pregnant women and lactating mothers. The business was 100% female dominated. The marketing link was a web involving various linkages between harvesters, bulk sellers, semi bulk sellers and final consumers. Retailers sold in small quantities on demand using recognized measures. There is need to include the raising of seedlings of spice species in both private and government nurseries in order to enhance their sustainability.