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PAPER MULBERRY: GOOD OR BAD FOR UGANDA?

By James W. Kisekka, 2012
Introduction
Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) is a small or medium-sized tree usually growing to 10-15m tall, but occasionally reaching 20m. Native to Japan and Taiwan (Whistler and Elevitch, 2006), paper mulberry is now found in the southeastern USA, South America (Argentina), Africa (Ghana and Uganda) and Asia (Pakistan and the Philippines) (Technigro, 2011). In some of these regions, for example Ghana and Uganda, Haysom and Murphy (2003) report that paper mulberry has become naturalized and is regarded as invasive. Records point to the importance of the species in the Polynesian culture, more than 1500 years ago, where its bark was used to make tapa cloth; one of the most important materials in ancient Polynesia (Whistler and Elevitch, 2006).

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