Traditional knowledge variability and endogenous practices related to natives oil trees within the rural communities of Kenedougou (Burkina Faso).

Local oil plants provide rural communities with many multipurpose products and are also source of incomes. The present study aims at assessing the traditional knowledge of local communities on the use of native oil plants. This is part of a comprehensive approach of implementation of value-added chains to endogenous exploitation techniques of local oil seeds. The study area is the province of Kenedougou to the West of Burkina Faso. The investigation consisted in the inventory of the known oil species by Siamous, Toussians, Bolons and Fulani ethnic groups, the determination of ethnobotanical indicators of plant use and the identification of local strategies for their conservation. The methodological approach included a combination of a social participatory approach and quantitative ethnobotanical surveys.

Interviewees have cited eleven (11) oil plant species. Among these species, 4 recorded 94 % of all citations. These species are : Vitellaria paradoxa (29.5 %), Elaeis guineensis (29 %), Carapa procera (23 %) and Lophira lanceolata (12 %). These four (4) species are the most accessible and the most exploited by the population. The most used parts of these plants are fruits (oil extraction) and leaves. In addition, income-generating activities have been developed around these plants : exploitation of seeds and fruits, production of crude oil, value-added food, medicinal or cosmetic marketing on local markets. Local criteria for preferences of oils species such as the local food habits (79%), the dietary uses (100%), medicinal use (100 %) and cosmetic use (71 %), knowledge in the art of oil extraction (93 %), the ease of this technique (64 %) and the yield of oil removable from the seed (71 %) have proved to be most relevant to indigenous communities. Although, these criteria are independent from the degree of exploitation of these plants, the ranking is comparable to that obtained with the "Uses values". The knowledge on the species properties, the techniques of oil extraction and soap production go backwards from one generation to another and vary according to the gender except from medical knowledge which is known by majority of local communities (98.4 %). Regarding the management of resources, we've noticed that there is a will to participate in collective actions to the conservations of useful plants. This desire is expressed through the knowledge of current strategies and the adoption of some practices for the favourite and most exploited species.

Key words : Native oil plants, Kénédougou, ethnobotanical surveys, use value, local conservation strategy


works to improve sustainable use of local tree species for fair-trade production of oils for food and cosmetics in Mali and Burkina Faso through a collaboration between researchers, private industries and local communities.

Financed by Danida.