Utilization of edible wild plants and their contribution to household income in Gweta Village, central Botswana.
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Gweta Village is endowed with a variety of edible wild plants (EWPs) ranging from fruits and leafy vegetables to tubers utilised by the residents. The study focused on documenting and synthesising indigenous knowledge related to the use of EWPs and assess their contribution to household food supply and income in Gweta Village, central Botswana. Data were collected through household survey of forty-five households and five key informants. Twenty-four species were found that belong to thirteen families, used as source of food and beverage. Most utilised EWPs include Grewia flava, Grewia bicolor, Scloreocarya birrea, Amaranthus thunbergii, Cleome gynandra, Corchorus olitorius. They are the main source of food and income, and are harvested by almost everyone in the Village. About 52% of the respondents were engaged in the sale of nine EWPs, and the sale contributed between BWP 50.00 to more than BWP 400.00 per week. The study showed that women are predominant users and collectors of EWPs and children are regular harvesters in small quantities for consumption as snack. Furthermore, the study revealed that elephants are the major threat to diminishing of EWPs in the Village. Some of the Villagers have already started domestication of some treasured EWPs while others are eager to do so. The prior assumption that EWPs are of significant importance to the rural economy has been confirmed, and the results revealed that EWPs also assist in dietary diversity, food security and income generation. Further research work on EWPs on nutritional value and related health outcomes is needed. Also, there is a need for creating awareness of the public and policy realignment to promote and market EWPs.
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