Ethiopia is one of the countries well endowed with various species of Acacia, Boswellia, and Commiphora that are known to produce gum arabic, frankincense, and myrrh, respectively. Over 60 gum and resin-bearing species are found in the country.
The total area of oleo-gum resin-bearing woodlands covers about 2.9 million ha of land in the country, with over 300,000 metric tons of natural gum production potential. Boswellia papyrifera is a chief gum resin-producing tree species in Ethiopia.
The total area covered by the species is estimated to be more than 1.5 million ha. Frankincense and myrrh are used in medicines, beverages and liqueurs, cosmetics, detergents, creams and perfumery, paints, adhesives, and dyes manufacturing. Gum Arabic is used as stabilizing, in the food and drink industries; pharmaceuticals, printing, and textile industries. Despite the enormous socio-economic importance of these natural products, the species are declining at an alarming rate due to degradation resulting from agricultural expansion, overgrazing, fire, poor incense harvesting practices, etc.