THE FUTURE OF WILD FOOD PLANTS IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA: ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION COUPLED WITH ENHANCEMENT OF THE ROLES OF KEY SOCIAL GROUPS
A synthesis of ethnobotanical studies undertaken in Ethiopia over the last couple of decades revealed more than 300 species of wild plants consumed by people. Forests, wooded grasslands/scrublands, riverine environments and farmlands within vegetation zones of Ethiopia are important habitats of wild fruits, vegetables, roots and others. Wide consumption and availability of wild plants testify their value, especially visible among indigenous cultures. Habitats are being lost and edibles are selectively harvested for various purposes, as rising human population and interventions prompted by escalating needs continue to transform natural areas. Changes in food habits and lifestyles tend to marginalize the species and heighten the threats. Hopes for monitoring wild edibles in hotspot areas (e.g., Southern Rift Valley) rest on ecosystem conservation and enhancement of the roles of key social groups backed by positive practice of local bio-cultural knowledge and sustained use. Desirable strategies include planting wild edibles in rehabilitation of degraded areas and culturally protected forests with integration of elites in farms. Protection and utilization of wild edibles is in the best interest of food sources diversification and environmental integrity up-keeping, with contribution to poverty reduction and preservation of bio-cultural heritages.
Asfaw, Z. (2009). THE FUTURE OF WILD FOOD PLANTS IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA: ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION COUPLED WITH ENHANCEMENT OF THE ROLES OF KEY SOCIAL GROUPS. Acta Hortic. 806, 701-708
elite wild edible plants, indigenous knowledge, sustainable use, conservation