Analysis of Tamarindus Indica value chain in Uganda
Tamarindus indica is a tropical widespread multipurpose fruit tree species of the Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpiniaceae tribe Amherstieae, Genus Tamarindus. It is a multipurpose and very valuable tree species in Uganda and in other semi-arid Africa for fruit, timber, leaves and shade. However, wild harvesting (extractivism) and over-extraction of T. indica have led to its market expansion and supply shortages in many cases. As forests recede due to deforestation, T. indica trees become severely prone to overexploitation and extinction. However, it is becoming increasingly recognized that the regeneration and rehabilitation and sustainability of the management will depend on the market development and economic benefits realized from T. indica products. This study examined value chain of T. indica in Uganda with emphasis on marketing margins and factors that influence marketing margins obtained by producers and traders. The study was conducted in Gulu, Kampala, Kitgum, Moyo, Soroti and Tororo districts from January- February, 2009. Marketing margins was determined using the comparison of prices at different levels of marketing over the same period of time, while factors’ affecting marketing margins obtained by producers and traders was determined using multiple OLS regression techniques. Results shows that T. indica is used as an alternative source of food, fuel wood and construction materials especially in the dry lands of Uganda. The average marketing margins for the producers was found to be Ush 201(US$ 0.113.00) and that of traders was 927 (US$ 0.46) per kilogram and marketing margins was observed to be significantly and positively influenced by distance to market, district of origin, marketing costs and sales volume. This implies that having a good knowledge of T. indica products marketing is critical for it commercialization, domestication and management.