Foods from the wild: Local knowledge, use pattern and distribution in Western Nepal.

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Date: Oct. 21, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 10)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,536 words
Lexile Measure: 1410L

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Abstract :

Locally harvested wild edible plants (WEPs) provide food as well as cash income for indigenous peoples and local communities, and they are of great importance in ensuring local food security. However, their uses and availability are poorly documented. This study aimed to enumerate WEP diversity and status of WEPs in a part of the Annapurna Conservation Area, Sikles region, where the population is dominated by the Gurung community. Ethnobotanical data were collected using guided field walks, semi-structured interviews, and field observation. The informant consensus method was employed and group discussions were conducted for triangulation of the information. Free listing and identification tests were performed to assess the knowledge of the informants. Both descriptive statistics and quantitative ethnobotanical methods were used for data analysis. A total of 72 wild food species belonging to 46 families and 61 genera were reported from the study area. Asparagaceae and Rosaceae were the dominant families, and herbs were the dominant life form. Fruits (34 species) were the most frequently used plant parts, followed by young shoots (16 species). Most edible plants were consumed in summer and during rainy seasons. While the age and type of informants had an influence on the number of enumerated plants, gender did not. Key informants and people aged 30-45 reported more species than other groups of respondents. Most of the knowledge about the use of WEPs was acquired from parents and relatives. The consumption of these plants was attributed to diversifying cuisine, spicing staple food, nutri-medicinal values, and cultural practices. People perceived the availability of WEPs to be gradually decreasing. However, WEPs are still abundant and diverse in the study area, and knowledge on their use is well-preserved. These resources provide food and nutrients to local people and can also be a source of cash income. Therefore, the documented information on WEPs may serve as baseline data for further studies on nutritional values and provide guidelines for safe collection. The results also revealed that many wild species are under growing pressure from various anthropogenic factors, suggesting effective community engagement is required for their conservation.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A679769371