>> Teru Duwho has been shimming up Baobab trees since he was 15, and recently the fruits of his labor have really started paying off. That's because the baobab has been transformed from a local staple in Sub-Saharan countries like 31 year old Duwho native Senegal. To the latest super food craze in the US and Europe, where the fruit's powdered pulp is mixed into smoothies.
>> It has six times the antitoxins of blueberries, six times of vitamin C of oranges, more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk.>> Its popularity means Duwho no longer sells to middleman but to exporter Baobab de Sever through a cooperative GIE.>> Before we would sell a bag at a lower price, but today with the GIE, we earn more.
>> Industry group Africa Baobab Alliance says exports rose from 50 tonnes in 2013 to 450 in 2017, and are expected to reach 5,000 tonnes by 2025, making a $400 million industry. Coca-Cola's Innocent, UK yogurt maker Yeo Valley, and the US wholesaler Costco are among the major brands now selling baobab products.
But there are concerns the baobab is under threat. The imposing tree dots the African savanna from Senegal to Madagascar and can live for over 1,000 years. It can also grow so big that one in South Africa was turned into a pub with room for 60 people. It's known as the tree of life but in June the journal Nature Planets published a paper saying 9 of the world's 13 oldest baobab trees had died in the last 12 years.
The journal said the decline was an event of unprecedented magnitude, possibly linked to climate change.>> We are aware that there is less and less of the baobab fruit. We had a better yield in previous years than this year because there was not much rain.>> That's why pickers like Condayla Badiyan have started a nursery to grow more baobabs, even though the tree takes many years to mature.
Raising concerns that the baobab industry may not be able to keep up with its growing popularity.