Ethnobotanical Survey of Edible Wild Plants in Tiv Communities of Benue State, Nigeria

Shomkegh, Simon Alyegba, Mbakwe Roy, Dagba, Benjamin Ioryem


Many people in rural communities of developing countries rely on wild edible plants for food especially during crop failures, famine or periods just before new harvests when many families run out of foodstuff. Documenting wild edible plants of indigenous groups can provide information for planning, conservation and further research especially in propagation, domestication and evaluation of nutritional profiles to obtain nutrient composition. In Tiv communities of Benue State, there is no documented quantitative or qualitative information on available wild edible plants. The aim of the research was to identify wild edible plants consumed in Tiv communities of Benue State and also obtain their uses/use categories. Ethnobotanical data was obtained through field walks and semi-structured interviews with active users made up of adults and young people. Through the free listing method, each community provided information on wild edible plants utilized and collections were made and preserved for future study. A total of 42 wild plants species in 27 families were identified as edible plants utilized by the local people and ruminants. The plants were eaten as vegetables/soup, fruits and animal food while others had multiple edible uses.  The development of these plant species through determination of nutritional profiles will enhance nutrition and food security. Conservation practices and domestication programmes are also required for sustained availability and increase in dietary diversity.

Keywords:Ethnobotanical survey, Edible wild plants, Use categories, Browse plants, Tiv communities

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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