Anisophyllea boehmii (Mashindwi) in western parts of Tanzania will bring the community close to the participation and involvement in tree planting programs, protection and natural forest/tree sustainability due to familiarity of the species in their origin occurrences, Anisophylllea boehmii species has maximum affinity of their utilization by the people which is associated with deforestation specifically cutting down the wood to process charcoal, and Ashes for storing crop grains and loof timbers due to its highly resistance against biodegradors.

The research findings (unpublished) we conducted through domestication of Anisophyllea boehmii projects to save the purpose of biodiversity conservation and climatic change mitigation while conducting initiatives for improving community livelihood includes; Methods of breaking seed dormancy and seedling development both carried at TFS Directorate tree seed production Morogoro, effectiveness use of A. boehmii ash, methods of extracting kernel oils both carried at Sokoine University of Agriculture food science laboratory then assessment of A. boehmii interaction with faunas community, assessment of social economic use of A. boehmii and assessment of richness and distribution of A. boehmii both case study being in Kibondo district Kigoma. Research Supervision were under Prof. Japheth J. Kashaigili firector of research and postigraduate studies, Prof. Salim Maliondo, Dr. Paul Lymo, Prof. Abdalah, Prof. Suzana Augostino, and Prof. George Migunga both being academician at Sokoine University of Agriculture.


Opportunity/expected outcomes on domestication of Anisophyllea boehmii

  • Processing fruit jam and bring new nutria wild products to global market.
  • Processing animal feeds from the fruit jam, Kernel seeds, and fodder of the specie and use on livestock or selling to the global market
  • Processing kernels edible oil rich of important nutrients for animal and human consumption
  • Marketing wild fresh fruit to the global market, Increase wild product resource for exportation.
  • Opening up employment opportunities.
  • Improving soil fertility by the falling leafs in agroforestry system.
  • Exploring organic pesticides for grain storage using wood ashes
  • Initiative of Climate change resilience and biodiversity conservation.
  • Initiates ecological restoration and ecological regeneration strategy to deforested land around native areas.
  • Open the debate among scientist, policy makers and local community to exploring other food resourceful wild trees for domestication.


Botanical description of Anisophyllea boehmii:

Anisophyllea boehmii is a genus plant in the family Anisophylleacea, order of Cucurbitales which divided in four genera distributed in South America, Madagascar, Malaysia and Africa. The Anisophyllea genus accounts 25-30 species among which belong the Anisophyllea boehmii.  The generic name is from the Greek meaning “un equal leaf’’, referring to the dimorphism of the leaves (Nkengurutse et al. 2016).  Anisophyllea boehmii is the evergreen or semi -deciduous species, broad, rounded branches and dense crown but allows light to penetrate, grows as shrub or tree up to 12 meters tall with short, usually crooked, bole with smooth bark to flaky,

Distribution and Habitat

Anisophyllea boehmii is widespread and indigenous in the eastern and southern regions of Africa and has been reported from Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola and Congo (Nkengurutse et al., 2016). In Tanzania is mostly distributed in Tanganyika Buha district kibondo road, Malagarasi pantoon. Other parts include (Kigoma, Katavi, Kagera, Geita, and Tabora regions), grows in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in range 800-1000mm, in sandy soil, through it can succeed in range of soil types from sandy Loams to sandy clay Loams. Their habitat is low land and hill forests from sea -level to 1000 meters (3300 ft) altitude, flowers are unisexual (Nkengurutse et al., 2016).

This species is named differently depending on the geographical zone: Mfungo, Mufungo, Nfungo from Zambia, Mufungu (Bemba), Mufuñu (Lunda) or Mnemvi, Mnyemvi from some Tanzanian languages. It is known as Umushindwi or Umushindwe in Buha language and Kirundi (Burundian language) or Lusindwi, Mshindwi and its fruits, amashindwi (or ishindwi in singular), mashindwi, mashindwe or amashindwe from related languages neighboring countries of Burundi (Nkengurutse et al., 2016) and Amasindu in Kagera.

Description of fruit and seed

Anisophyllea boehmii fruits are ellipsoid drupes with an average length ranging between 33 and 40mm; the width is between 29 and 34mm; while the average weight ranges between 16 and 25g, fruit appear mainly in the rainy season and are eaten raw, is also processed into jam, or added to porridge. Flowering goes from July to October mature from Middle-November to December and sometimes until January.

Description of uses of Anisophyllea boehmii

Anisophyllea boehmii has a double issue commercial and food supply purposes, is a rich-oil source estimated to over 24%, it is a tocopherol rich-oil, particularly in α-tocopherol, could be useful in the quality improvement of certain oils with low oxidative stability or as a food additive rich in vitamin E in food industry. Anisophyllea boehmii seed could therefore when used as a food ingredient or supplement, potentially contribute to the body’s physiological requirements of L-arginine and offer some cardiovascular benefits (Kasimu et al. 2015).

The seeds have nutritional, pharmaceutical and or industrial value, are largely discarded after consumption of the fruit pulp (Kasimu et al., 2015), the traditional uses of Anisophyllea boehmii include provision of fuel wood, fruit, fodder, shade, construction timber, medicinal exploitation of their roots and aerial parts, The tree is also useful for shade and as an ornamental, Ash from the wood is used as an insecticide for grain borers (Ruffo et al 2002). Other importance addressed from local community in the area of origin occurrences case study being in Kibondo district and Kakonko district in Kigoma region are: have edible fruits eaten as raw, is a best in agroforestry initiative as it is not affecting annual crops negatively and its leaves are good fertilizers, fruits when eaten raw stops diarrhea, branches are used as local toothbrush, roof building timber due to its ability to resist biodegrades and insect bores, its used as fuel wood and charcoal source.

These fruits, with prune-like flavor (Malaisse & Parent, 1985), are among top three appreciated fruits from Zambian consumers of wild fruits (Kalaba et al., 2009; Nzigidahera, 2008). They are marketed in the distribution region of the species (Kalaba et al., 2009; Nzigidahera, 2008). In the western Tanzania at Kigoma region, fruits are well marketed and anyone visited or living in Kigoma would have comment on its flavor.

The chemical composition of Anisophyllea boehmii

Kernels of Anisophyllea boehmii constitute an interesting lipid resource that could be exploitable as edible oil for food uses, Kernels (oil extracted from Anisophyllea boehmii seeds) composed of ash: 2.52 %, oil: 24.04%, carbohydrate: 48.48%, proteins: 12.02% and moisture: 12.92%. can be considered as a source of potassium (3872.33 mg/kg) and phosphorus (2670.03 mg/kg) (Nkengurutse et al., 2016b).

The gross energy of Anisophyllea boehmii seed (20.3 MJ/Kg) is higher than that reported for maize grains (17 MJ/Kg) therefore, opens up the potential for its use as a source of energy in livestock feeds.


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