Innovative Tools and Techniques for Sustainable Use of Shea Tree in Sudano-Sahelian Zone (INNOVKAR Project)

The shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important species for the production of edible vegetable fat and personal care products processed from the dried kernel of its fruits. It shows a high potential for income generation and food security in the Sudano-Sahelian zone. INNOVKAR is a project funded under the EU Sixth Framework Programme conducting an integrated and innovative research that couples biophysical, biological, chemical and socio-economic methods with an objective to improve sustainable production in terms of both quantity and quality and in order to promote trade of shea products. The research is being conducted in five African countries - Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, and Uganda, in collaboration with local research team in each country.

Researchers from CELP are involved in two of the work packages in the project - Work Packages 1 & 2.
WP1: Shea tree dynamics and fruit production in parklands focuses on the combined effect of climate and human practises on the dynamics of natural regeneration and on the production of fruits in parkland. The main objective of this work package is to understand and model the shea parkland dynamics in mid- and long-term, with a view to provide recommendations for management of the parkland. CELP is the lead partner in WP1 and is coordinating the primary data collection from the study sites in five African countries involved in the project.
WP2: Adaptation and resilience of shea tree to drought and climate change aims to characterise and predict the ability of shea tree parklands to face climate change through the mechanisms of drought avoidance or dehydration tolerance, and model the distribution of the shea tree according to different climate scenarios. Researchers from CELP will play a leading role in modelling shea distribution under future climate change scenarios to ascertain the potential movement of shea tress under global warming conditions.

For more information, please visit the INNOVKAR website at
http://inco-innovkar.cirad.fr/.