Full Length Research Paper
Parts of the baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L.) have been considered vital in addressing various nutritional needs and augmenting household incomes. However, limited utilization, processing, and marketing exist in developing countries like Kenya, despite the fruit pulp gaining mass interest overseas as a natural ingredient in various formulations. This study therefore aimed at assessing the status of production, consumption, processing, and marketing of baobab fruit pulp by small holder farmers in selected growing regions. A cross-sectional design was used to carry out the study and purposive sampling was done to identify 250 study cohorts in addition to five focus group discussions and ten key informant interviews. Data was expressed in frequency, percentages and cross tabulation. The findings of the study indicated that the fruit pulp was abundantly consumed by 72% of the respondents while all other parts were consumed to a limited extent. Pulp/seed sweets (mabuyu) were largely known and vended by women in the study area. Despite marketing and processing activities being limited, multiple uses of baobab during lean season at the household level were reported. Training on value addition and promotion of value-added baobab products, is necessary for income diversification and increased utilization of the baobab products.
Key words: Baobab products, utilization, superfood, food security, supplement.
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