The Role of Wild and Semi-wild Edible Plants to Household Food Sovereignty in Hamar and Konso Communities, South Ethiopia

Getachew Addis, Zemede Asfaw, Zerihun Woldu

Abstract


Population based survey was conducted to investigate incidence of food shortage and coping mechanisms; knowledge, attitude and practice on consumption, conservation and management of wild and semi-wild edible plant species (WEPS) by Hamar and Konso communities of Ethiopia. The research used different ethnobotanical data collection methods and statistical tools. Irrespective of their social and economic strata, all study participants reported consumption of WEPS with increasing frequency, quantity and number of species consumed during food scarcity. More WEPS with lower sensory acceptability, poor cooking quality, and inflicting some kind of health problems were consumed during famine. Leptadenia hastata was the most preferred WEPS sought after during food deficiency by both communities. Ninety three WEPS are managed by both communities mainly in the vicinity of human settlements and farmlands. The Konso community demonstrated long established cultural practices of conserving, managing and using WEPS. Planning on promotion, sustainable use and conservation of WEPS must take note of the knowledge and practices of local communities on account of the key roles they would play in food security-sovereignty initiatives. 

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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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