Comparative Analysis of Indigenous Knowledge on Use and Management of Wild Edible Plants: The case of central East Shewa of Ethiopia
Keywords:Quantitative Ethnobotany, Indigenous Knowledge, Wild, Edible Plants, East Shewa, Ethiopia
Quantitative ethnobotanical analysis of indigenous use and management practices of wild edible plants (WEPs) by transhumant and settled farmers was conducted to compare WEPs and associated indigenous knowledge (IK). Household interviews, key informant discussions, focus group discussions, field explorations and multistage direct matrix rankings were carried out to identify WEPs in six study sites of two districts in semiarid East Shewa, Ethiopia. Participant observations were made to identify local strategies of management of WEPs. The results showed that from 40 WEPs, 35 (87.5%) of them were also used for forage/fodder, and 37 (92.5%) for fuel wood. Forest is a common habitat for collection of these plants. Jaccard’s Similarity Coefficient of the three use categories were 44.2%, 46.9% and 45.6% respectively. No gender differentiation was observed regarding their knowledge of habitats of WEPs collection. 42.2% of transhumant informants attested that intergenerational transfer of IK is the responsibility of the entire community while in the case of settled farmers this is left to fathers and mothers (23.3%). There were significant variations in transferring IK (P<0.05) between the two communities. Transhumants conserve WEPs in pasture land and protect vegetation while settled farmers employ traditional dryland agroforestry, living fences and farm boarders. Study communities have significant variation in their preference for WEPs (P<0.05). The people showed greater preferences for five WEPs. The prioritized WEPs and associated IK and practices should be considered in planning conservation and sustainable use of WEPs by integrating the variations and complementing with appropriate modern practices.
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