Evaluation of the Cultural Food Significance of Neglected and Underutilized Plant Species in Southwest Oromia, Ethiopia

Balcha, Abera E. (2018). Evaluation of the Cultural Food Significance of Neglected and Underutilized Plant Species in Southwest Oromia, Ethiopia. UNU-INRA Working Paper. UNU-INRA.

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  • Sub-type Working paper
    Author Balcha, Abera E.
    Editor Ayuk, Elias T.
    Quartey, Vicentia Y.
    Title Evaluation of the Cultural Food Significance of Neglected and Underutilized Plant Species in Southwest Oromia, Ethiopia
    Series Title UNU-INRA Working Paper
    Volume/Issue No. No. 33
    Publication Date 2018-09-21
    Place of Publication Accra
    Publisher UNU-INRA
    Pages vii, 23 pages
    Language eng
    Abstract For centuries, plants have been used as a source of food, medicine and material culture. The focus of modern research and technology developments on crop plants, however, has narrowed the number of utilizable crop plants. This study was on the cultural food significance of neglected and underutilized crop plants (NUPs) in southwest Oromia, Ethiopia. A total of 180 rural elders above the 40 year age group were interviewed concerning the cultural significance of neglected and underutilized plant species. A quantitative method was used to calculate the cultural significance of individual plants in traditional contexts. A special index – the Cultural Food Signifi-cance Index (CFSI) – was used in the evaluation of the cultural significance of individual plants using six variables: availability index, frequency of use index, parts used index, feeding appreciation index, food preparation index and nutraceutical role index. These indexes help to calculate and compare the ethnobotanical data of NUPs for the development of agro-biodiversity, which plays a major role in the alleviation of food insecurity especially in developing countries. A total of 71 neglected and underutilized crop plant species were reported by informants of the study area. Of these, 13 (18%) plant species were domesticated under home garden while the remaining species were under wild life. Of the plant species, 6 (8.5%) were recorded with very high significance value (>300 and above) followed by 7 (9.8%) with high (200-299), 34 (47.8%) with moderate (100-199), 14 (21%) with low (50-99) and 9 (12.7%) with very low (> 49). [(Coccinia abys-sinica (Anchote) Plectranthus edulis (Dinnicha Oromoo), Phaseolus lunatus L. (Abbaa Coomaa) and Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. (Heppoo)] were identified in the study area as “most appreciated” in cultural feeding of the rural community at large. [Colacaceae esculenta L. (Schott), Godarree)] and (Dioscorea alata (Qoccoo Oromoo) were the most common and drought resistant tuber crop plants identified with very high significance values. The application of this index makes it possible to identify the most important but neglected and underutilized crop plant species for the extension of agro-biodiversity to feed the increasing world population. The findings of this study recommend the establishment of small and medium enterprises to in-crease the value of NUPs in the region.
    Keyword Cultural Food Significance Index (CFSI)
    Neglected and Underutilized Plant species (NUPs)
    Index value
    Ethiopia
    Copyright Holder UNU-INRA
    Copyright Year 2018
    Copyright type Fair use permitted
    ISBN 9789988633325
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    Created: Fri, 21 Sep 2018, 21:24:13 JST by Vicentia Quartey on behalf of UNU INRA