GEP  Vol.3 No.9 , November 2015
Market and Value Chain Analyses of Marketable Natural Products from Agroforestry Systems in Eastern Sudan
Abstract: The objectives of the present study were: 1) to identify the prioritized marketable natural products (NPs) from agroforestry systems (AFS), and 2) to conduct market value chain analyses of the most important and prioritized NPs to identify markets and marketing channels; actors, functions and characteristics; constraints and opportunities to entry and growth; opportunities for value addition, and conduct analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). The study was conducted in the Refugees’ camps and their hosting communities in Eastern Sudan. Using the participatory value chain analysis (PVCA) approach, it was found that communities in the project sites obtained a multiplicity of NPs for sustenance and for increasing their incomes. Eight products were identified and ranked as the most important NPs with greatest opportunities for enterprise development at the community level. These are: gum Arabic, honey, fodder, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and tree seeds. Gum Arabic has been shown to score higher ranks in terms of a) marketability b) ecological suitability (availability), c) social suitability, and d) potential for value addition. The results show that marketing of gum Arabic in the study site is characterized by a large number of producers and relatively few traders and companies work through seven marketing channels. The results demonstrate that in the customary marketing channel there is an upward skewed benefit distribution among the value chain actors. The total relative commercialization margin was 80% indicating that “traders” accrued higher proportion, while “producers”, receive less income (20%) of the end market price. Poor land security, one-sided prices, taxes and levies, lack of finance and appropriate skills are major impediments to gum commodity growth and development. One of the most important opportunities for growth and entry of Gum Arabic are: it is natural organic product and thus well-fit for fair trade, environmentally sustainable and organic market development. Numerous opportunities exist in the site for value addition and distribution synergies and gender-specific development, including that gum Arabic has high synergy with natural resource management and other sectors for enhancing regional and national growth. The study concludes that Gum Arabic production and marketing is financially profitable for producers, traders and companies and has the potential to open new markets and bring new opportunities to smallholder farmers. However, technical, financial, and institutional support could result in an increase in local actors’ income and contribute to sustainability of the supply of the product.
Cite this paper: El Tahir, B. and Vishwanath, A. (2015) Market and Value Chain Analyses of Marketable Natural Products from Agroforestry Systems in Eastern Sudan. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 57-73. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.39006.

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