Production of essential oils from Ceylon lemongrass (Cymbopogon nardus) in Loumo district (Congo)
The objective was to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of the production of essential oil (ET) of Ceylon citronella in Loumo . A field survey was carried out with 60 EO producers in 9 localities in the Loumo district in Congo. The results show that 73 % of producers are adult men , 37% of whom are between 51 and 60 years old. The schooling rate is 98%, with a predominance of producers with secondary education levels, the majority living in a common-law relationship. The production of EO is a secondary activity to agriculture and commerce. The income generated by this activity is marginal but makes it possible to diversify the income of the actors. This activity is still in the embryonic stage. The low economic performance translates into low annual investments and low annual distillation frequencies, a consequence of the presence of a single EO extractor. The production of 1.75 litre of essential oil requires 140 kg of cooking wood, which has a direct impact on the surrounding forest ecosystems. The promotion of fast-growing species is necessary in view of the development of this sector.
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