Soursop (Annona muricata) is native to South American countries (Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, and Venezuela) but widely grown in tropical and subtropical areas, such as Southeast Asia, South America, and the rainforests of Africa .The plant produces edible fruit all year round and is widely used as traditional medicine for skin disease, respiratory disease, fever, bacterial infections, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.

The fruit and leaves of soursop contain acetogenins, alkaloids, essential oils, carotenoids, amides, and cyclopeptides and many other antioxidants, including terpenoids, saponins, coumarins, lactones, anthraquinones, glycosides, phytosterols, tannins, and flavonoids. In addition, soursop contains many essential vitamins and minerals including vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper. With its strong nutrient profile, it provides a variety of health benefits. Antioxidants are known to fight free radicals, by reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress to the cells. Some species of soursop have been used in the production of soaps, domestic cooking oils, essential oils, herbal medicines, alcohol, fertility drugs, and insecticides. Furthermore, the fresh pulp or fruit extract of soursop is commercially used to prepare juice, candy, tea, oil, sorbet and ice cream and dessert in the food and beverage industry.

Soursop's production volume and utilization on a global scale has largely been on the increase
Tropical fruit and exotic crop
Over the years, a great diversity of tropical fruit and vegetable species have been neglected in favor of the production of exotic crops. These neglected species have now increased in importance, due to the recognition of their potential contribution to preventing malnutrition, obesity and diet-related disorders and hidden hunger. Many tropical food crops constitute inexpensive and rich sources of protein, carotenoids, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Although soursop doubles as a tropical fruit and exotic crop species, its production volume and utilization on a global scale has largely been on the increase as a result of the significant benefits derived from it for food, health and economic value.

Plant-based diet
There is a growing interest and concern of people for ethics, health and sustainability, which has led to an increase in the vegetarian lifestyle, consumption of vegan products and promotion of plant-based diet. This translated into a growing popularity of the consumption of plants and natural products in the world market, due to the health benefits that surround the use of plant ingredients and products. Given this development, demand for soursop will continue to grow as more households include it in their menu and pharmaceutical companies use it for production of drugs and medicines. All the while, manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products are already utilizing it.

The global market size of soursop was worth USD 150 million in 2021. It has been estimated that the production volume could reach more than 455,600 tonnes and a valuation of $350 million by 2027, thanks to a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% between 2021 and 2027.

To capture a fair share of this growing market, there must be an increased interest to foster public-private partnerships for the revival of soursop production, research, and utilization in Africa. This would result in enormous potential to contributing to the continent's food security, economic growth, and public health. To achieve this, it is necessary to increase research and development, create awareness, improve access to credit, and develop markets for the crop.