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Abstract

The marketing and the valorisation of teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) leaves were studied in southern Benin, in order to generate useful information to capture the livelihoods improvement potential of this non wood forest product (NTFP). 76 traders and 44 consumers of teak leaves were interviewed in nine markets purposely selected based on their functions in the marketing system. Traders provided information on their functions in the marketing system, the costs borne, and their revenues. In the consumers’ survey, respondents provided data on the consumption forms of teak leaves. The marketing channel consisted of a network of markets, with specialisation per functions in respect to their geographical pattern: rural - peri-urban - urban gradient. Rural women were the main stakeholders engaged in the trade of teak leaves. Three categories of traders were identified, namely collectors wholesalers-retailers, collectors-retailers, and retailers. The monthly net revenue was XOF 4,659–15,927 (USD 9.3–31.9) during the rainy season and XOF 6,621–21,655 (USD 13.2–43.3) during the dry season. These revenues were used to meet household’s needs, especially food supply, hence contributing to food security. Regarding the consumption, teak leaves were used mainly for packaging food products. As a substitute to polyethylene bags in food packaging, teak leaves offer a great potential to tackle environmental pollution in southern Benin.

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