UNDERUTILIZED FOREST PLANTS IN TRADITIONAL HEALTHCARE AND NUTRITION IN SEKOTA WOREDA, AMHARA REGION, ETHIOPIA
An ethnobotanical study was conducted in Sekota District (Woreda), Amhara Region of Ethiopia to identify some of the underutilized forest plants used in traditional healthcare and nutrition. This became necessary to provide the baseline data and records on these important species for further scientific developments. The methods of study were group discussions, visual observations, and the use of pre-tested questionnaires administered on some respondents purposively selected among nonwood forest products (NWFP) exploiters in the district. The results showed that 68 plant species from different families had some of their parts such as leaves, barks, fruits, and roots exploited as nonwood forest products (NWFP) for traditional health care and nutrition. Twenty six of these are composed of trees (18 species), shrubs (seven species), and climber (one species) and fall under the purview of underutilized plant species (UPS) because the respondents relied on the wild forests as the major sources of supply. The results further revealed that the exploitation of the plants were male dominated, with women mostly involved in the processing and marketing. UPS were found to provide off-season employment, income, and livelihood generation to the respondents. The conclusion was reached based on the present rate of deforestation in Ethiopia, estimated at about 200,000 ha/year. There is likewise the possibility of losing Ethiopias entire productive forests by the year 2020, a genetic erosion of these species before their potentials are fully realized is imminent. Hence plausible suggestions were made to ensure the continued availability of these plants for a sustainable livelihood and environment.
Adekunle, M.F., Hailu, M. and Mitiku, L. (2009). UNDERUTILIZED FOREST PLANTS IN TRADITIONAL HEALTHCARE AND NUTRITION IN SEKOTA WOREDA, AMHARA REGION, ETHIOPIA. Acta Hortic. 806, 195-202
forests, foods, nonwood forest products, indigenous plant species