Sweet African bush mango trees (Irvingia gabonensis) produce valuable non-timber forest products in the humid lowland areas of West and Central Africa. Only the sweet mesocarp is edible, while the seed (kernel) of the fruits is used as a sauce thickening agent.
In its efforts to promote a legal and equitable NTFP sector, the Programme entered into a partnership with an NTFP cooperative whose main role is to animate the marketing operations with affiliated collector groups, ensure that all the relevant administrative documents are obtained from MINFOF, organise all activities related to transport, storage, processing and handling of the products. The NTFP cooperative is working as an umbrella cooperative to the NTFP collector groups joining the strategy. They also established trade agreements with Nigerian traders and syndicates to facilitate the marketing of bush mango. So far 65 collector groups in 24 villages in and around Korup and Takamanda National Parks have been organized and trained on sustainable collection, processing, storage, record keeping and marketing of bush mango product.
In 2013, 7.3 tons of bush mangos were legally sold in Nigeria.
As for the year 2014, 6.6 tons of bush mangos were purchased during the season (June – September 2014), while for the 2015 production season the activities will be expanded to include Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary as well, bringing viable economic activities and market access to the local population in the periphery of the protected areas.