Ethnobotanical study of food plants around 'Dheeraa' town, Arsi, Ethiopia
AbstractA study aimed at identifying plant species used and manipulated by the community for food was carried out around ‘Dheeraa' town, in Arsi Zone of Oromia National Regional state, Ethiopia. The data were collected through four round fieldworks co nducted from October to December 2003. Random and systematic sampling methods were employed to select the study sites as well as the informants. Ethnobotanical methods using semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data on food plants used by the community. In this study, 71 species of food plants were recorded of which, the local people cultivate 30 species. Wild edible plant species claimed a larger proportion (41 species, 58%) of the total records. Of the edible plants of the study area 16 species used by the community in traditional medicine, are categorized as nutraceuticals. The non-cultivated food plants are very rare in the area and this might be attributed to the ongoing habitat modification and loss of natural vegetation. It is important to create awareness on sustainable use of wild edibles and the cultivated food. On top of the benefits that these food plants offer as part of the local vegetation, their potentials as food sources are worth considering in efforts towards realizing household food self-sufficiency in the study area.
SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 29(1) 2006: 71–80