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Tsiperifery, the wild pepper from Madagascar, emerging on the international spice market whose exploitation is unchecked: current knowledge and future prospects

Razafimandimby H., Bénard A.G., Andrianoelisoa H., Leong Pock Tsy J.M., Touati G., Levesque A., Weil M., Randrianaivo R.J., Ramamonjisoa Ralalaharisoa Z., Queste J., Aubert S., Danflous J.P., Danthu P.. 2017. Fruits, 72 (6) : p. 331-340.

DOI: 10.17660/th2017/72.6.1

Introduction ¿ A new spice on the international market. Tsiperifery is a wild pepper from Madagascar belonging to the genus Piper. This new culinary spice, which is gaining gourmet notoriety due to its unique organoleptic properties and its endemic and exotic origin, is attracting a growing number of actors to harvest and trade it. Scientific challenges ¿ This growing appetite for tsiperifery is making collection of the plant unsustainable and contributing to the degradation of Malagasy forests with the felling of lianas, as well as host trees, and subsequent deforestation. Little is known about the plant, and its trade has developed in the relative absence of any scientific knowledge. There is not even the most basic of information available regarding its geographic distribution, taxonomy, ecology or reproductive mode. Moreover, tsiperifery is regarded simply as black pepper by Malagasy and international regulations. Socio-economic challenge ¿ Poorly paid harvesters. The peppercorns are harvested by pickers from the poorest sector of the local population, earning them a valued income, which is nonetheless derisory compared to the gains made by the other market players. Results and discussion ¿ Lay the bases for a sustainable management of tsiperifery. This finding indicates that scientific backing aimed at reducing uncertainties about the biology, exploitation and transformation of the plant is required to establish the bases for sustainable management of the plant. We suggest supporting the sector in producing sustainably exploited tsiperifery by exploring different innovations, which would include creating a 'label' that guarantees the product's quality through association with its origin and implementing a participative process for domesticating the plant. Conclusion ¿ Advocating for the involvement of all stakeholders. Research has limited impact in a context devoid of economic and political partners, and funders. Without the involvement of major stakeholders, it will be no time before tsiperifery finds its way into the CITES Appendix II.

Mots-clés : poivre; plante sauvage; piper; produit forestier non ligneux; développement durable; composition chimique; commercialisation; conservation des ressources; ressource naturelle; produit nouveau; madagascar

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