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Commercialization of Aframomum spp. in Africa: a Systematic Review of Literature and Supporting Botanical Vouchers
Economic Botany  (IF1.731),  Pub Date : 2021-03-22, DOI: 10.1007/s12231-021-09517-4
Ronja Hermiene Maria Knippers, Sandrine Gallois, Tinde van Andel

Aframomum (Zingiberaceae) is a genus of plants native to tropical Africa that are sold on African markets as spices and traditional medicine. Not all species of Aframomum are equally abundant or widespread, and no overview exists of the specific species traded or the quality of the species identifications in publications referencing the sale of Aframomum. Through a systematic literature review, we show that 14 species of Aframomum are sold in 15 African countries. The majority of the studies were done in Nigeria and Cameroon and A. melegueta was the most frequently reported species in trade. A. kayserianum was the only commercialized species with confirmed conservation issues. Our literature review shows extensive knowledge gaps regarding the commercialization of Aframomum in Africa. Most studies did not include herbarium vouchers, or only used market-sourced plant material, which impedes the possibilities for species verifications. Additionally, most East African countries were devoid of relevant research. These gaps can be bridged by future research in East Africa and voucher collection from living material. Information on the conservation status of traded Aframomum species can be obtained by population studies on wild resources and documenting local domestication efforts, as the cultivation of marketed species tends to relieve the pressure from wild resources.