Ethnobotanical study of wild edible plants in Derashe and Kucha Districts, South Ethiopia Kebu Balemie and Fassil Kebebew
Department of Ethnobiology, Institute of Biodiversity Conservation, Addis Ababa P.O. Box 30726, Ethiopia
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2006; 2: 53.
study discussed ethnobotany of and threats to wild edible plants in
Derashe and Kucha Districts, South Ethiopia. Semi-structured interview,
field observation, group discussion, market survey, and pair wise
ranking were employed to gather ethnobotanical data. The information
was collected from informants of three ethnic groups namely, Kusume,
Derashe and Gamo people. The study documented 66 edible plant species
belonging to 54 genera and 34 families. Of the reported edibles, 83.3%
have more than one use categories. Food, medicine,
construction/technology, and fuel wood had contributed 79% of the total
uses. Of the recorded wild edible plant species, 78.8% were reported to
be edible both in normal and food shortage times. Procurement and use
of most edibles were found to be age and gender specific. However,
species use under various use categories does not vary among the
communities (X2 = 3.89, df = 6, α = 0.05 and 1-α = 12.6).
The study showed that the majority (62.1%) of the species were
collected from wooded grassland/or bush land vegetation type. Pair wise
ranking results indicated that agricultural expansion, over
stocking/overgrazing, fuel wood collection, and uncontrolled fire
setting as principal threats to wild edible plants in the study areas.
The findings suggest that (i) Public awareness and community based
management need to be encouraged at all levels in order to overcome the
threats; (ii) further investigation into nutritional properties of all
the species reported; and (iii) Since the species are also
nutraceutical, study on the pharmacological attributes would help to
understand their medicinal applications. Furthermore, urgent collection
of germplasm from areas under human pressure is recommended.