World Journal of Agricultural Research. 2020, 8(2), 32-38
DOI: 10.12691/WJAR-8-2-2
Original Research

Underutilized Natural Gum and Resin Resources in Ethiopia for Future Directions and Commercial Utilization

Wubalem Tadesse1, , Tatek Dejene2, Gizachew Zeleke3 and Getachew Desalegn4

1Central Ethiopia Environment and Forest Research Center (CEE-FRC), Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI), Head office, Gurd Shola, Addis Ababa

3Hawassa Environment and Forest Research Center (HEFRC), Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI), Hawassa, Ethiopia

4Wood Technology Research Center (WTRC), Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Pub. Date: May 15, 2020

Cite this paper

Wubalem Tadesse, Tatek Dejene, Gizachew Zeleke and Getachew Desalegn. Underutilized Natural Gum and Resin Resources in Ethiopia for Future Directions and Commercial Utilization. World Journal of Agricultural Research. 2020; 8(2):32-38. doi: 10.12691/WJAR-8-2-2


The drylands of Ethiopia are well known for their natural gum and resin producing tree and shrub species such as Acacia, Boswellia, Commiphora and Sterculia. The production and trade volumes of gums and resins in the country showed a declining trend since 2010. The present review work is focused on availability of alternative underutilized tree and shrub species to indicate the diverse gum and resin market opportunities. Several Sub-Saharan African countries are producing gum and resin products from diversified species. Gum arabic is collected from Acacia senegal (L) Willd, Acacia seyal DEL, and Acacia polyacantha Willd species. Three countries namely Sudan, Nigeria, Chad contribute about 97% to the international market, while Ethiopia's contribution is 0.9%. World demand for karaya gum from Sterculia setigera DEL is about 7,000 tonne and in Africa, Senegal is the leading exporter. Despite the huge resources of A. senegal, A. seyal and A. polyacantha, Ethiopia producing very low quantity, and gum is collected from natural oozes of trunks or branches. S. setigera is also found in the country, although gum karaya is not yet under production. South and south eastern parts of Ethiopia hosts abundant species of Acacia, Boswellia and Commiphora. Gum-resin products are collected from natural exudates by herdsmen, women and children while herding and doing other activities, indicating its adverse effects on quality and quantity. Very small proportions of Myrrh and gum opopanax enter the local market. Other constraints are, lack of appropriate institutions, infrastructure, tapping technologies and market information. Therefore, appropriate policy formulation, research and development interventions, are recommended for supporting sustainable management, production and marketing of products.


deforestation, oleoresin, marketing, species diversity, tapping, value addition


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