Indigenous multipurpose shrubs of Lebanon, a rich resource for benefits and economic development in rural communities
Multipurpose shrubs are worldwide recognized as an integral component of rural development, forestry, agriculture, or environmental management. Despite the successful cultivation of these species in some countries, they are to date not being realized at national level because of lack of knowledge of the potential of these shrubs and high competitiveness of commodity crops in mainstream agriculture. This study was aimed to identify indigenous wild shrubs species of Lebanon which can be purposely raised, preserved, or managed for commercial importance, household use, or environmental benefits for rural communities. A survey across 35 villages representing a cross-section of different ecoregions of the country was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires addressing elderly villagers, shepherds, bee keepers and farmers. Findings revealed a list of indigenous multipurpose shrubs providing a breadth of direct and indirect economic benefits that can be considered an important resource for significant marketed and non-marketed products and services. Among many others, Asparagus acutifolius, Capparis spinosa, Myrtus communis, Rhus coriaria, Rubus sanctus, ranked at the top important shrubs. The multiple benefits of these shrubs represented in their potential value-chain as food, firewood, industrial materials, bee keeping as well as being a vital pool for plant genetic materials. The economic value contained in these species highlights their importance to consider them among the priority species for research and development programs necessary to sustain the local livelihood of traditional societies.
Baydoun, S.A., Arnold-Apostolides, N. and Chalak, L. (2020). Indigenous multipurpose shrubs of Lebanon, a rich resource for benefits and economic development in rural communities. Acta Hortic. 1267, 215-222
multipurpose shrubs, enthnobotanical use, Lebanon