Ricinodendron heudelotii, locally known as Njansang (or njansa), is a forest tree found in Cameroon and other countries along Africa’s tropical belt. Women and children traditionally collect njansang fruit in the forest and undertake the labourious, time-intensive job of extracting its precious kernels for sale or home use. Njansang kernels—which are ground into a paste used to flavor and thicken a wide array of foods— are in high demand throughout the region and all year round.
But even with a large, ready local market, njansang’s slow and difficult processing stands in the way of unlocking its potential to generate more income for local communities; traditional processesing takes anything from 6 to 8 weeks to go from harvest to kernel, and a woman earns around $50 from the sale of njansang kernels annually. Read more. . .