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Tree Commodities and Resilient Green Economies in Africa

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The book Tree Commodities and Resilient Green economies in Africa is about tree crop commodities in Africa and It sought to examine how best Tree commodities can contribute to achieving sustainable development goals in Africa. It is premised on tree commodities (coffee, cocoa, coffee, cashew, oil palm, rubber etc.), representing some of the continent's fastest-growing land uses. These commodities support the livelihoods of millions of people and constitute an essential part of African economies. At least five countries in Africa are single tree commodity-dependent economies. Seven more economies can be considered tree commodity-dependent when more than one tree commodity is considered. Nevertheless, farmers remain poor because prices remain low, and most crops are exported as raw materials or with little processing. Hence, countries capture very little of the total value of the commodity value chains. For example, Africa produces 75% of the world's cocoa but captures less than 10% of the total market value of the commodity. Fluctuating prices pose serious balance of payment challenges for economies as well. There is also evidence that these commodity systems have flourished at the expense of forests and come with several other externalities- social (e.g., land conflicts, land grabbing), climate (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions) and environmental (e.g., biodiversity loss- including soil micro-organisms; human health impacts from pesticides use). Climate change poses a significant existential threat to some of the commodities. As global demand for these commodities continues to soar, expansion is also being limited by land scarcity. Therefore, tree commodity systems would need massive innovations to respond to today's climate change and social, economic, environmental and land scarcity challenges. This book aims at furthering the understanding of innovative options for enabling continued economic, livelihood and ecosystem services benefits for people through climate-smart and sustainable tree commodity systems. The book focused on five key tree commodities grown in Africa: cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, shea and cashew nuts. It is structured in seven parts. Part I explains the motivations of the book, and Part II explores commodity-based case studies from the systems innovation's perspective. Parts III, IV and V examine economic, environmental and governance innovation options, respectively. In part VI, the book presents lessons from across Asia and Latin America that could benefit thinking green tree commodities and Part VII teases emerging lessons from the book and envisages possible ways forward.

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