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Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. is a fruit species from the Sahelian and Sudano-sahelian zones, highly appreciated by the population. It provides a source of income for the rural population and its various parts are used for human and animal food, handicrafts and traditional medicine. However, the lack of data on propagation techniques of the species is a significant limitation to its domestication. This study aims to evaluate the vegetative propagation capacity of Balanites aegyptiaca by air layering. The trials were conducted in the Arboretum of Sahara Sahel Foods in Zinder, Niger. The layers were placed on orthotropic branches. The variables selected were the diameter class (1-2 cm, 2-3 cm and 3-4 cm) and the substrates (sand+manure, sand+sawdust and sand). A total of 116 layers were made. The results show that 93.1% of the layers have taken root two months after realization. The diameter classes and the three substrates have no significant influence on the number of roots. In contrast, root length varied significantly with substrates (P = 0.000) and branch diameter classes (P = 0.031). As for the diameter of the newly formed roots, a significant difference was observed between the diameter classes and the substrates have no significant effect on this parameter. One month after weaning of layers, an average survival rate of 68.5% was obtained. The seedlings of the diameter class 2-3 cm have the highest survival rate (83.1%). These results suggest that it is possible to produce Balanites aegyptiaca plants by air layering, and could contribute to the development of strategies adapted to its domestication.
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