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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 806: International Symposium on Underutilized Plants for Food Security, Nutrition, Income and Sustainable Development

PRODUCTION CHAIN OF OECOPETALUM MEXICANUM ('CACHICHÍN'): A TROPICAL FRUIT TREE FROM MÉXICO

Authors:   M. Lascurain, C. López, P. Zamora
Keywords:   wild edible fruit, livelihood, fruit collection, local market
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.806.65
Abstract:
This article shows preliminary results of a study about the production chain of a tropical fruit tree, Oecopetalum mexicanum Greenm. and C.H. Thomps. (‘Cachichín’) in the community of Pueblo Viejo, Sierra of Misantla, Veracruz, México. It focuses on the socio-economic importance of this fruit and of the fruit-gathering activities of local inhabitants. O. mexicanum is a native tree, growing in limited areas of ecotony or transition vegetation between cloud forest and tropical forest. The fruit is collected from the ground and is consumed toasted and boiled. The seed, which is the edible part, has a bitter taste. The total of the households in Pueblo Viejo allocate part of the fruit for self-consumption and an important number also obtain economic revenue from collecting, processing, and/or selling roasted fruit. In the face of the most recent social and economic changes, including land use dynamics, ‘Cachichín’ has become a key resource for local livelihoods and conservation of natural vegetation in the community of Pueblo Viejo.
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