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How domesticating the African baobab tree could secure its future

African Baobab (Adansonia digitata)

An African baobab (Adansonia digitata) at Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Juniors Bildarchiv GmbH/Alamy

The famous baobab tree is being domesticated. Farmers seldom plant baobabs because they take between eight and 23 years to flower – and potentially begin bearing fruit – but a pair of researchers in Ghana have got them to flower in less than three years.

The work could lead to plantations of baobabs springing up all over Africa. “That is our vision,” says Kenneth Egbadzor at Ho Technical University in Ghana. “What we need now is funding.”

In parts of Africa, Adansonia digitata …

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