The Contribution of Edible Wild Plants to Food Security, Dietary Diversity and Income of Households in Shorobe Village, Northern Botswana

Lukas Neudeck, Lebogang Avelino, Phetso Bareetseng, Barbara Ntombi Ngwenya, Demel - Teketay, Moseki Motsholapheko


The objectives of this study were to investigate the indigenous knowledge on the use of edible wild plants (EWPs) and assess their contribution to the food security, dietary diversity and income of households in Shorobe Village, northern Botswana. Data were collected through: 1) a survey of 45 households randomly selected from a total of 128 households in the village, and 2) focus group discussions. Twenty seven species were found to be used as sources of food and beverage. Seven of the EWPs were harvested by 80% or more of the households. EWPs accounted for 25-76% of the annual food supply of households. Over two third of the population were engaged in the sale of 11 of the EWPs, and the sale of EWPs contributed between 1-100% to the monthly income of households. While 69% of the households earned money from the sale of EWPs, the sale of EWPs was the primary source of income for 21% of the respondents. The sale of EWPs was the second highest contributor, next to livestock, to the average monthly household income. The results revealed that EWPs are of high importance to the local population and confirmed the assumption that the availability of EWPs plays an important role in rural livelihoods through ensuring food security, dietary diversity and sustained income.

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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