DEVELOPING A PRIORITY SETTING APPROACH FOR DOMESTICATION OF INDIGENOUS FRUIT AND NUT SPECIES IN MAKAWANPUR DISTRICT, NEPAL

N. Joshi, M. Siwakoti, K. Kehlenbeck
Makawanpur district in Central Nepal is considered one of the richest biodiversity hotspots of the country, harbouring numerous indigenous underutilised fruit and nut species important for nutrition and income generation of rural households. However, many of these useful plant species are threatened due to deforestation, agricultural expansion and over-exploitation. Enhanced cultivation after domestication of these species may contribute to their conservation through use but limited funds call for species priority setting. The aim of this study was to document indigenous fruit and nut species and the related traditional knowledge, to contribute to species priority setting. In three agro-climatic zones (altitude range 400-2300 m a.s.l.) of Makawanpur district, indigenous fruit and nut species were surveyed in natural forests, homegardens, farmers’ fields and along roadsides. Information about species’ local names, utilisation, seasonal availability and preference ranking was gathered by field observation, interviews and participatory rural appraisal, involving key informants of four ethnic groups (Tamang, Bankaria, Chhetri and Newar). In total 54 indigenous fruit and nut species were recorded, of which 16 species were grown in homegardens. Only 7 of the 54 species were at least partly domesticated; 16 species had a market value for income generation. The more urban Newar respondents mentioned only 27 of the 54 species as useful, whereas Tamang, who live in remote areas close to forests, mentioned 48 as useful. Fruit and nut availability varied a lot between seasons. From January to April produce of only 1-2 species was available, compared with 20 species in November. Thus, species priority setting for domestication should consider seasonality of species to provide fruits and nuts year-round. Secondly, only species that are used by many different tribes should be selected. Further selection criteria include nutritional value of the produce, adaptability of the species to climate change and its market potential.
Joshi, N., Siwakoti, M. and Kehlenbeck, K. (2013). DEVELOPING A PRIORITY SETTING APPROACH FOR DOMESTICATION OF INDIGENOUS FRUIT AND NUT SPECIES IN MAKAWANPUR DISTRICT, NEPAL . Acta Hortic. 979, 97-106
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.979.7
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.979.7
biodiversity hotspot, ethnobotany, genetic resource, plant conservation, traditional knowledge, underutilised
English

Acta Horticulturae