HOME GARDENS AND THEIR ROLES IN DOMESTICATION OF WILD AND UNCULTIVATED PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES IN NEPAL
Home gardens are important centers of experimentation and species domestication. This study in Nepal has revealed that forests are the major source of plant genetic resources for domestication in home gardens, followed by habitats near streams, lakes and uncultivated land. Most of the species domesticated in home gardens are primarily used for local medicine, food and for religious/cultural purposes. Such species are also used as livestock fodder, fencing and fuel. Food habit, socio-culture conditions, traditional use value of plant species, abundance and availability of the species in wild forms and farmers motivation are the major factors influencing farmers in decision making during the selection of species for domestication. The local use-values and morphological attributes such as fruit size, plant height and plant type are the main traits considered by the farmers while selecting wild genotypes for domestication. Farmers hold enormous knowledge on the requirement of specific agro-ecosystem and cultural practices for the management of wild and uncultivated species in their home gardens. Due to the rigorous management of species collected from uncultivated sources in home gardens for a considerable length of time, changes in morphological attributes, especially size, shape and number are visible in domesticated forms. Farmers can even differentiate the culinary taste among the wild and domesticated forms of the same genotype. Home gardens, therefore, are the places for experimentation and domestication of useful plant genetic resources, especially for the farmers.
Gautam, R., Sunwar, S., Subedi, A., Shrestha, P. and Sthapit, B.R. (2009). HOME GARDENS AND THEIR ROLES IN DOMESTICATION OF WILD AND UNCULTIVATED PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES IN NEPAL. Acta Hortic. 806, 677-684
use-value, morphological attributes, species selection, farmers' knowledge, farmer descriptor, experimentation site