Investigating knowledge on indigenous green leafy vegetables amongst rural women in Eswatini
There is emerging concern regarding the decline in knowledge and use of indigenous green leafy vegetables (IGLV) especially in many African countries. Reasons for this are lack of inter-generational knowledge transfer and changes in food values and attitudes. The decline in knowledge influences food choice as consumers tend to favour commercially available foods over traditional diets. In this context, a study was conducted at Eluyengweni in Eswatini to determine, describe and compare IGLV knowledge amongst two generations of rural women. More specifically, the research determined and compared the level of IGLV knowledge (on species identification, accessibility, and preparation) and its mode of transfer between the two groups. The study was exploratory utilising focus group discussions and individual interviews. Results revealed that older women were more knowledgeable than the young group in terms of IGLV identification, accessibility and preparation. The low level of knowledge was partly attributed to stigmatisation and a change of IGLV collection environment from predominantly wild to a more local one (cultivated fields/gardens). Mothers and grandmothers were the most common source of IGLV knowledge for both groups. However, the knowledge was however not systematically transferred. Future research on the underlying reasons for stigmatisation of IGLV is recommended.