More than 30 species of wild fruit trees belonging to the genus Uapaca can be found across Africa. Several produce fine flavored, attractive fruits that are loved wherever they occur. These yellow-brown plum-sized delights add sparkle and zest to traditional foods from porridges to desserts. Fully ripe, they are juicy and honeylike in taste. Shown here is Uapaca kirkiana, near Vumba Junction, Zimbabwe. (B. Wursten,

food security and poverty reduction enterprises. They seem suitable for public health initiatives aimed at balancing diets and reducing malnutrition.

But no one yet knows how to get the most out of the various sugarplum species. Indeed, so much remains to be done that the possible next steps seem overwhelming. From food science to soil science, opportunities for important advances abound on all sides.

Some might advocate that a deep understanding be given priority before anyone venture into growing these fruits on a bigger scale. That was, in fact, the opinion of one contributor, who felt “popularity on the market might little affect production.” The view has merit, but as with other fruits highlighted in this book there are open opportunities for immediate amateur and professional endeavors that should not be dismissed out of hand. Indeed,

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement