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Nutritional profile of some selected food plants of Otwal and Ngai sub counties, Oyam District, Northern Uganda.

INTRODUCTION

Rural households of Uganda rely heavily on plant resources for food, fodder and herbal medicine [1]. Tabuti [1] further reported that savanna grassland ecosystems contain many plant resources of economic values such as foods. These plant resources are widely relied on by rural communities in developing countries because they are freely found in the wild. Wild food plants and locally produced foods are valuable and important nutrient contributors in the diet both in rural and urban areas, but most importantly in the rural areas [2].

Uganda is endowed with a high diversity of indigenous food plants. Traditionally, vegetables were gathered from cultivated lands near homesteads and sometimes together with uncultivated fruits from bushes and forests in the vicinity. Some of them have higher protein, phosphorus, iron, vitamin and carotene contents than the exotic, high-yielding vegetables that have progressively replaced them since colonial times [3].

This study was conducted in areas which were insecure for over 20 years as a result of civil strife. The people were confined in IDPs (Internally Displaced People's camps) from around 2003 to 2007. The IDPs were government-protected settlements with limited access to food sources. The people in the area relied on relief food and wild food plants to meet the daily dietary requirement.

Thus, an ethnobotanical study is important to highlight people's usage of plant material for their daily nutritional needs. However, the war and other conditions have limited such studies in Oyam District, thus lack of comprehensive nutritional composition of these plants.

Wild food plants are incorporated into the normal livelihood strategies of many rural people and are usually considered as additional diet to rural people. However, one has to bear in mind that wild fruits add crucial vitamins to the normally vitamin deficient cereal diet, particularly of children [3, 4, 5]. They (wild food plants) grow in both farmlands and uncultivated habitats and are harvested for their nutritive values [6]. They represent important food sources during seasonal food shortage periods, and provide good nutritional supplies, notably minerals. In some cases, wild food plants may have some economic value in local markets [7].

Wild food plants suffer serious neglect, disregard, and erosion. Agricultural programmed envision their use as a "backward" food security practice, devoting very little attention, if any, to them [7, 8]. There is poor scientific knowledge and awareness on the values of wild food plants, such as their nutritional qualities, ecological features, and local uses [9].

In addition, the expansion of farming land and the intensification of unsustainable practices of natural resources management are further constraining the space available for some wild food plants, hence undermining their availability and use [7].

To consider food as medicine is part of a culture and a millennial human practice, in fact, ancient documents, testify the consumption of many plants in order to prevent numerous illnesses. Today, more advanced scientific research reveals that human health is directly connected to nutrition [10].

The nutritional value of wild food plants is of interest to ethnobotanists, clinicians, chemists, nutritionists and anthropologists. There is no definitive resource available containing this information for African wild food plants [11]. Thus nutritional chemists measure the qualities of specific nutrients found in edible plants in order to discover the extent to which they fulfill dietary requirements [12]. Identification, propagation, and introduction of nutritionally rich, indigenous plant species in the existing cropping system are important for the intervention in rural nutrition. A case study of Moringa [Moringa oleifera Lam.; Moringaceae], which is a common tree in Malawi and one of the richest sources of vitamin A and vitamin C compared to the commonly consumed vegetables has been used to address the problem of vitamin A deficiency [13].

Wild food plants also have a potential in the mitigation of AIDS impact, especially among the rural poor [14, 15]. Wild food plants represent inexpensive, locally available and versatile food sources capable of improving nutrition and health quality.

The objectives of this study were as follows:

* To identify and document food plants in the study areas;

* To assess the plant conservation practices in use in two sub-counties of Oyam district;

* To establish factors influencing use of wild food plants;

* To determine the nutrients profile of some selected food plant species.

MATERIALS AND METHODS Study Area

This study was carried out in Ngai and Otwal sub counties in Oyam District which is situated in Northern Uganda on coordinates 02[degrees]14'N 32[degrees]23'E [16]. The sampling sites were located in the Parishes of Aramita, Akuca and Omac from Ngai sub-county and Abela from Otwal sub-county. The study was conducted from August 2007 to February 2008.

Data Collection

To collect these data direct questions about knowledge of nutritional plants were asked. These methods are explained in the textbook of ethno botany [12]. Information on food plants such as their mode of preparation, part consumed, status of each plant whether domesticated or wild was obtained through semi-structured interviews to focused group discussions. Respondents included men, women and children. Children between 8-15 years were particularly targeted since they interact more with nature. However, a lot of emphasis was placed on the elderly in the community because of their knowledge of plants.

Some plant specimens were collected and included both wild and domesticated food plants and ranged from vegetables, seeds, fruits and underground organs. Tools used included; hoes and knives (these were used with caution to avoid Fe contamination); wood racks cotton threads, polythene bags and papers.

Collection of Voucher Specimens

Plant voucher specimens, were taken from different taxa and varieties found in the study area as were identified by respondents. As with all ethnobotanical studies, the aim of the study was to provide evidence for the identification of all scientific varieties and species and their correspondence with local nomenclature. A total of 51 voucher specimens were collected and delivered to Makerere University Herbarium where further identification and classification was done. Voucher specimens were collected according to standard practice, including roots, flowers, and fruits where possible [12].

Twenty laboratory samples were collected and delivered fresh to the Department of Food Science and Technology, Makerere University.

Laboratory methods

Twenty selected food plant samples were analysed for protein, beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Proximate analysis of the plants was performed to analyse for proteins.

Determination of nutrient contents of food plant samples

Determinations were made using standard methods as outlined by FAO [17a, b], for acid detergent method for fiber (ADF)], Micro-Kjeldahl analysis was used for nitrogen determination so as to calculate proteins and Vitamin C [17a, b]. Beta carotene was determined by spectrophotometric reading procedure [18].

Determination of Nutrient elements of plant food samples

Nutrient element concentrations of Ca, Fe, P and K were then determined from standard procedure [18]. Potassium and calcium were determined through flame photometer, iron through atomic absorption spectrophotometer and phosphorus through spectrophotometer.

RESULTS

Documentation of food plants

A total of 110 respondents were interviewed from the study area (Table 1) of these, 43 were females and males were 57 showing that, there were more men interviewed than females (57% and 43%, respectively). The highest numbers of respondents interviewed were in the age group of 50 years and above at 31%, followed by 27% for 25-37 years, 25% for 38-49 years and lastly 17% for 13-24 years.

A total of 51 food plant species were documented (Table 2) of which 74.5 % of the plants were collected from the wild while 25.5 % were of the cultivated and semi cultivated categories. Additionally plant species with medicinal values constituted 31.4%.

Fruits were the most consumed plant part constituting 58.8 %, followed by leaves with 23.5 %, seeds with 12 % and the rest were below 10 %. In addition, 56.9% of the plants were eaten raw while 43.1% were eaten in cooked or roasted form. All the fruits were consumed fresh while all vegetables and seeds are consumed when cooked.

Trees and shrubs made up 64.7% of food plants consumed while herbs and climbers constituted 29.4% and fungi formed 5.9%. Shrubs and trees were basically giving fruits and seeds which are consumed. Vegetables were mainly obtained from herbs.

Reason for use of wild food plants

The use of wild food plants among the people of Ngai and Otwal was reported to be mainly due to the fact that these plants are perceived to be nutritional. However, they also contribute to food security in times of food shortage/famine (Fig.1-). Some 15% of the food plants were also consumed because of perceived medicinal values.

Some 15% of the food plants were also consumed because of perceived medicinal values.

Gender roles in the collection of wild food plants

Women were found to be the main collectors of wild food plants compared to men and children (Fig.2). It was also noted that men, women and children would occasionally combine effort to collect wild food plants at any given time.

Pattern of consumption of wild food plants

There was a reported decline in the use of wild food plants among the locals and the reasons being mainly seasonality of the plants and due to lack of time to collect these plants from the wild.

Nutrient composition of food plant species Protein contents of food plants

The protein content of the vegetables (leaves) were higher than any other plant part analyzed (Table 4). Only seven food plant species had protein contents greater than 20% and nine species had protein contents of less than 10%. Wild food plants such as Amaranthus graecizans had 34.08%, Solanum nigrum 27.80%, Crotalaria brevidens 34.47% and fruits such Ficus sur 9.35%, Bridelia scleroneura 5.68%. Thus comparing the wild and cultivated food plants, some of the selected wild food plants are richer in proteins than their cultivated counter parts.

Vitamin C and beta carotene contents of food plants

Vegetable parts of the investigated food plants contained higher concentrations of vitamin C, and beta carotene than all other edible parts (Table 4). Fruits had the second highest contents of both vitamin C and beta carotene. A total of 47.62% of food plant species had vitamin C contents greater than 0.5%.

Dietary fiber contents of food plants

The dietary fibers of the food plant species varied widely with no particular plant part leading in content (Table 4). On average, there are only marginal differences in fiber contents among the different plant parts investigated. For instance, the average fiber contents were 42.16%, 40.40% and 39.69% for fruits, seeds and vegetables respectively.

Mineral contents of food plants Iron contents of food plants

Iron contents in Hibiscus diversifolius, Cleome gynandra, Tamarindus indica, Solanum nigrum and Corchorus olitorius were of greater than 30% (Table 4). Species with iron contents of less than 5% were fruits of Ficus sur, Ficus sycomorus, Cucumis figarei, Bridelia scleroneura, and seeds of Hyptis spicigera. Ten plant species had their iron contents falling between these two extremes.

Calcium contents of food plants

The highest concentration of calcium was found in the leaves of Acalypha bipartitae followed by Amaranthus graecizans, Solanum nigrum, Crotalaria ochroleuca, Crotalaria brevidens and Corchorus olitorius in that order (Table 4). On whole, vegetables had the highest calcium concentration compared to other plant parts analyzed.

Phosphorus contents of food plants

Plant species that showed the concentration values of phosphorus greater than 500mg/100g were leaves of Cleome gynandra, Acalypha bipartitae, Hyptis spicigera, Amaranthus graecizans, Solanum nigrum, Asystasia gangetica, seeds of Cajanus cajan, Corchorus olitorius and fruits of Cucumis figarei and Ficus sur (Table 4). The lowest concentrations of phosphorus of less than 200mg/100g were recorded in fruits of Vitex doniana and Bridelia scleroneura

Potassium contents of food plants

Six plant species which include Asystasia gangetica, Ficus sur, Solanum nigrum, Corchorus olitorius, Cleome gynandra and Amarantus graecizans concentration values of potassium exceeding 300mg/100g (Table 4). Only three plant species had concentrations falling between 200mg/100g and 300mg/100g. The plant species with the lowest concentrations of potassium (150mg/100g) were Acalypha bipartita, Tamarindus indica, Vitex doniana, Mondia whiteii, Cajanus cajan, Crotalaria brevidens, Hibiscus diversifolius, Ceretotheca sesamoides, Bridelia scleroneura and Crotalaria ochroleuca.

DISCUSSION

Documentation of Wild food plants

Wild food plants were found to grow in both farmlands and uncultivated habitats and were harvested for their nutritive values. In Ngai and Otwal sub counties, the greatest percentage of the wild food plants was collected from the wild. This similar trend was also observed among communities living in Mabira Forest Reserve [6]. This can be explained by the fact that natural habitats are far less disturbed than farmland hence they encourage the growth of a high diversity of plants unlike farmlands.

However, it should also be noted that for the people in the study area, food plants that were found growing in farmlands were usually more accessible and easily integrated in the day to day family food basket. The women during focus group discussions reported that as they attend to their farms, they could easily pick these plants as they return from their gardens.

It was observed that fruits were the forms in which food plants were commonly consumed by the local communities in the two sub counties of Oyam District. Fruits are forms of foods which do not require elaborate preparations and can, therefore, even be easily consumed by children. Cooked plant parts were the second most commonly consumed form of food plant parts in Otwal and Ngai sub counties in Oyam District. This was because women who constituted the highest percentage of wild plant collectors are the ones responsible for food preparation for their families.

Woody species constituted the highest percentage sources of wild food plants. This presented some advantages because they are perennial and hence more reliable sources of food. On the other hand, herbs which are seasonal constituted only a small percentage of food plants. Because of their seasonality, wild food plants are not reliable sources of food for the local communities.

The most obvious reasons that were given for the consumption of wild food plants among communities of Ngai and Otwal, was that these plants were nutritious and in famine or periods of food shortage they contributed to household food security.

During the study, it was also noted that a large number of food plants [31%] were reported to have medicinal value, and the local communities ate them with full knowledge of their medicinal values. This is important since food and health are closely interlinked. Thus as these plants are being consumed as food, they also boost the nutritional and therapeutic needs of the persons eating them. Some of these plants include Cleome gynandra, Mondia whiteii, and Crotalaria ochroleuca among others. Cleome gynandra is used as a medicinal plant and is found all over world [19]. The plant has been used to treat a number of ailments ranging from headache, constipation, arthritis, epileptic fits, among others. This confirms other reports that various human societies have used wild plants for both food and medicine [20, 21, 22, 23, 24].

Nutrient Element Composition

Considering all the food plants in Ngai and Otwal sub counties, Oyam District analyzed for nutrients and minerals, leaves had the highest concentrations of all the parameters investigated. Fruits and seeds came second and third respectively for the different substances analyzed. Thus considering the nutritional values of these wild food plants coupled with medicinal values, these wild food plants, therefore provide very important sources of food and medicine for the local communities.

Plants that were high in proteins such as Amaranthus graecizans, Cleome gynandra, and Hibiscus diversifolius were found to be favorite foods among expectant mothers during the focused group discussions. Some of the wild food plants that were analyzed for their nutrient content were found to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of some minerals needed in ones diet. The RDA for phosphorus which is 700mg can be met by the following plants that is Hyptis spicigera 855.72mg, Acalypha bipartita 906.02mg and Cleome gynandra 1167.35mg exceeding RDA required. On the other hand, calcium RDA is met by Acalypha bipartita (867.6 mg), the RDA of which is 800mg and usually difficult to meet in vegetarian diet. The vegetables were found to be richer in the entire nutrient elements and as such if integrated in the daily diet of the local people would contribute significantly to RDA required by the body. This would hence reducing the prevalence of diseases associated with nutrient deficiencies, and thus boost the body immune system.

The respondents reported that leaves of Crotalaria ochroleuca which is semi cultivated were eaten to relieve stomachache. They were found to be high in beta carotene, proteins and calcium. Hibiscus diversifolius which is delicacy in the study area was reported by the respondents, to stimulate breast milk production in mothers and increase appetite. The plant species had high concentrations of iron, phosphorus and beta carotene, with moderate concentration of calcium.

Vitamin C which was high in these vegetables protects against scurvy a condition young people tend to be susceptible to. However, it was also noted that among the food plants analyzed, fruits which were low in nutrients and minerals were the one being commonly eaten by children. These included Vitex doniana, Aframomum angustifolium, Bridelia scleroneura, Ficus sur and Ficus sycomorus. This type of diet alone may subject children to marginal nutrient and mineral deficiencies, making them more susceptible to infection and diseases [22]. However, these wild fruits are supplementary to the main foods prepared at home. The RDA for vitamin A was mostly met by eating just one gram of the vegetables while for the fruits and seeds it was necessary to eat more 5-6 grams. The fact that these plants are found growing in the wild and farmlands, they are easily accessed and children have often eaten them at any time and the amount of serving depends on how hungry the child is.

Other special delicacies which are prepared and consumed in Ngai and Otwal sub counties were actually found to be high in minerals and other nutrients. These were foods prepared in a variety of combinations. For instance Cleome gynandra is prepared in combination with Solanum nigrum or Acalypha bipartita, Acalypha bipartita provides a rich combination of nutrients as has been established through laboratory analysis. Thus this combination provides the optimal nutrients needed in the body, hence ensuring good health. The lack of knowledge to precisely identify appropriate diets, is overcome by the rich diversity of food sources in the vicinity of the local communities. Plant biodiversity offers useful perspectives on a number of issues of contemporary scientific and public health importance including, mineral deficiency and bio-availability, nutrition and disease, nutrition transition, and medicinal and functional activities of plants [25, 26, 27]. It is important to note that simplification of the diets of large numbers of people as a result of urbanization and socioeconomic changes presents unprecedented obstacles to human health associated with emerging diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

Despite the apparent nutritive values of wild food plants, their consumption has declined among the people of Ngai and Otwal sub counties. The people argued that the decline was mainly due to the fact that these plants were seasonal and that they had become scarce in the environment, therefore necessitating domestication of these plants to ensure that they are included in household crops that are often cultivated. The children and mothers have to have their diet supplemented to ensure that they do not suffer from nutrient deficiencies as a result of low intake from the daily diet, for example by Vitamin A, folic acid, iron tables and Vitamin C to mention but a few . The emergence of new food crops is yet one of the main reasons why the consumption of wild food plants has declined as they act as substitutes [7, 20, 27]. It is obvious, however, that preservation of botanical knowledge is critical and justified because wild species with higher food values can be nutritional substitutes to cultivated food plants during economic hardship, drought, or periods of social and political unrest [8, 28].

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Of the total number of food plant species documented, 31.4% were perceived to have medicinal properties. Wild plants play an important role in the diets of inhabitants of Oyam District. The wild food plants were used as supplements to the cultivated crops and as famine foods between harvesting seasons. Results of this study reveal these wild food plants are rich in nutrients, some of which meet the RDA compared to their cultivated counter parts. The wild food plants were not only consumed for their nutritional value but they were also considered medicinal by the local people in the study area.

There is need to study the medicinal potential of some of these wild food plants and as well as the possible side effects of the plants so as to identify plants that may improve nutrition, provide health remedies, increase dietary diversity and tackle food insecurity. On the other hand, as wild food plants become scarce in their natural habitat because of environmental degradation, it is recommended that sensitization of the local communities be undertaken about the values of wild food plants This will probably win their support for the conservation of natural resources in their vicinity. In addition, the government through its agricultural outreach programmed should include strategies for inclusion of selected wild species such as Acalypha bipartita, Solanum nigrum, and Crotalaria brevidens among others to be domesticated together with the common food crops.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Most sincere gratitude to the sponsor, NORAD funded Nutritional and Medicinal plants Project in the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University through the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) and Directorate of Planning and Development, Makerere University. The Chief Technician Mr. Ssentongo, the Department Food Science and Technology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University. The Staff of Ngai Health Center III, Field Assistants, leaders of Lango Cultural Center, opinion leaders, traditional healers, traditional birth attendants, the resource users and all respondents, in Ngai and Otwal Sub counties in Oyam Districts who provided the information.

REFERENCES

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[16.] Maud M. Kamatenesi, Aannabel Acipa and Hannington Oryem-Origa. 2011. Medicinal Plants of Otwal and Ngai Sub-counties in Oyam District, Northern Uganda. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 7(7), 1-14

[17 a] FAO Manuals of Food Quality Control; 7. Food analysis: General techniques, additives, contaminants and composition 1986.

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[18.] Okalebo JR, Gathua KW, and PL Woomer Laboratory Methods of Soil and Plant Analysis: A Working Manual 2002.

[19.] Mishra SS, Moharana SK and MR Dash Review on Cleome Gynandra International Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Chemistry. 2011; 1(3): 681-689.

[20.] Grivetti LE, Frentzel CJ, Ginsberg KE, Howell KL and BM Ogle Bush foods and edible weeds of agriculture: perspectives on dietary use of wild plants in Africa, their role in maintaining human nutritional status and implications for agricultural development. In R. Akhtar (ed.). Health and disease in tropical Africa. London: Harwood, 1987: 51-81.

[21.] Achinewhu SC, Ogbonna CC and AD Hart Chemical composition of indigenous wild herbs, spices, fruits, nuts and leafy vegetables used as food. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 1995; 48(4): 341-348.

[22.] Johnson N and LE Grivetti Gathering practices of Karen women: questionable contribution to beta-carotene intake. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2002; 53(6):489-501.

[23.] Manuel P, Tardio J, Blanco E, Carvalho MA, Lastra JJ and RMES Miguel Traditional knowledge of wild edible plants used in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula [Spain and Portugal]: a comparative study. J. of Ethnobiol. and Ethnomed. 2007; 3: 27.

[24.] Lockett CT, Calvert CC and LE Grivetti Energy and mineral composition of dietary and medicinal wild plants consumed during drought. Study of rural Fulani, Northeastern Nigeria. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2000; 51(3): 195-208.

[25.] Marshall F Agriculture and use of wild and weedy greens by the Piik okiek of Kenya. Economic Botany, 2001; 55(1): 32-46.

[26.] Johns T Plant Biodiversity and Malnutrition: Simple Solutions to Complex Problems: Theoretical Basis for the Development and Implementation of a Global Strategy Linking Plant Genetic Resource Conservation and Human Nutrition. AJFAND 2003; 3 (3): 1.

[27.] Kiremire BT, Musinguzi E and J Kikafunda Utilization of indigenous food plants in Uganda: a case study of South Western Uganda. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development 2006; 6(2): 1-21.

[28.] Tilahun T and G Mirutse Ethnobotanical study of wild edible plants of Kara and Kwego semi-pastoralist people in Lower Omo River Valley, Debub Omo Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. J. of Ethnobiol. and Ethnomed. 2010; 6:23.

Acipa A (1) *, Kamatenesi-Mugisha M (1) and H Oryem-Origa (2)

* Corresponding author email: aamiraclenet@yahoo.co.uk, mkamatenesi@botany.mak.ac.ug

(1) Department of Environmental Management, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, P.O Box 28577, Kampala, Uganda.

(2) Department of Biological Sciences, School of Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P.O Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of respondents in the study area

Respondents Total

Males Females
58 [57%] 43 [43%] 101

Age Characteristics of Respondents

13-24 years 25-37 years 38-49 years 50 years and above
17 [17%] 27 [27%] 25 [25%] 32 [31%]

Table 2: Plant species with nutritional and medicinal values, parts
used, forms eaten and growth habits

Family Taxon and collection Status Part eaten
 Number

Acanthaceae Asystasia gangetica [L.] W Leaves
 T. Anderson AA-09-07
 Asystasia mysurensis T. W Leaves
 Anders AA-37-07
Amaranthaceae Amaranthus graecizans C Leaves, seeds
 Auct.Non L AA-15-07
 Amaranthus dubius Thell W Leaves
 AA-23-07
Anacardiaceae Rhus vulgarius Meikle W Fruit
 AA-31-07
 Mangifera indica L. * C Fruit
 AA-51-07
Annonaceae Annona senegalensis W Fruit
 Pers. AA-50-07
Apocynaceae Carrisa edulis [Forssk] W Fruit
 Vahl. AA-21-07
Arecaceae Borassus aethiopium Mart W Fruit
 AA-34-07
 Phoenix reclinata Jacq. W Fruit
 AA-49-07
Asclepiadaceae Mondia whiteii skeels* W Root
 AA-01-07
Caesalpiniaceae Tamarindus indica L. AA- W Fruit
 32-07
Capparaceae Cleome gynandra L.* AA- Sc Leaves, tem
 27-07
Caricaceae Carica papaya L. * AA- C Fruit
 35-07
Compositae Sonchus oleraceus L. AA- W Leaves
 36-07
Cucurbitaceae Cucumis figarei Delile C Fruit, seed
 AA-30-07
Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea bulbifera L. W Fruit
 AA-42-07
Euphorbiaceae Acalypha bipartita Mull. W Leaves
 Arg. AA-02-07
 Bridelia scleroneura W Fruit
 Mull. Arg. AA-48-07
Fabaceae Vangueria apiculata [L.] W Fruit
 Walp * AA-47-07
 Lablab purpureus [L.] W Seeds
 Sweet AA-33-07
 Cajanus cajan [L.] C Seeds
 Druce * AA-17-07
Labiatae Hyptis spicigera Lam. C Seeds
 AA-14-07
Lamiaceae Hoslundia opposita W Fruit
 Vahl. * AA-47-07
Loganiaceae Strychnos innocua Delile W Fruit
 AA-22-07
Malavaceae Sida rhombifolia L. AA- Sc Leaves
 46-07
 Hibiscus diversifolius C Leaves, seeds
 L. AA-24-07
 Hibiscus acetosella W Leaves
 Welw.ex. Fic AA-24a-07
Moraceae Ficus sycomorus L * W Fruit
 AA-44-07
 Ficus natalensis W Fruit
 Hochst.AA-45-07
 Ficus sur Forssk W Fruit
 AA-43-07
Olacaeae Ximenia americana L. W Fruit
 AA-20-07
Papilionaceae Crotalaria ochroleuca Sc Leaves, flowers
 G.Don * AA-04-07
 Vigna unguiculata [L.] W Leaves
 Walp AA-18-07
 Crotalaria brevidens C Flower, leaves
 Benth. AA-41-07
Pedaliaceae Ceratotheca sesamoides C Seeds
 Endl. AA-40-07
Sapotaceae Butyrospermum paradoxum W Fruit, seed
 [C.F. Gaertn] Hepper *
 AA-19-07
Solanaceae Solanum nigrum Acerb. W Leaves, fruit
 Ex. Dunal AA-03-07
 Physalis minima L. W Fruit
 AA-07-07
 Capsicum frutescens C Fruit, leaves
 Rodsch.* AA-26-07
 Lycopersicon esculentum W Fruit
 Mill. AA-16-07
Tiliaceae Grewia mollis Juss. * W Fruit
 AA-05-07
Tricholomataceae Termitomyces aurantiaces W Whole plant
 AA-38-07
 Termitomyces W Whole plant
 microcarpus * AA-38a-07
 Termitomyces eurrhizus W Whole plant
 AA-38b-07
Verbenaceae Vitex doniana Sweet * W Fruit
 AA-12-07
 Vitexfischeri Gurke W Fruit
 AA-12a-07
 Lanatana camara L. * W Fruit
 AA-13-07
Vitaceae Ampelocissus Africana W Fruit
 Lour. Merr AA-11-07
Zingiberaceae Aframomum alboviolaceum W Fruit
 K. Schum AA-06-06
 Aframomum angustifolium W Fruit
 K. Schum * AA-39-07

Family Taxon and collection Form eaten in
 Number

Acanthaceae Asystasia gangetica [L.] Cooked
 T. Anderson AA-09-07
 Asystasia mysurensis T. Cooked
 Anders AA-37-07
Amaranthaceae Amaranthus graecizans Cooked or raw
 Auct.Non L AA-15-07
 Amaranthus dubius Thell Cooked
 AA-23-07
Anacardiaceae Rhus vulgarius Meikle Fresh
 AA-31-07
 Mangifera indica L. * Fresh
 AA-51-07
Annonaceae Annona senegalensis Fresh
 Pers. AA-50-07
Apocynaceae Carrisa edulis [Forssk] Fresh
 Vahl. AA-21-07
Arecaceae Borassus aethiopium Mart Fresh
 AA-34-07
 Phoenix reclinata Jacq. Fresh
 AA-49-07
Asclepiadaceae Mondia whiteii skeels * Fresh
 AA-01-07
Caesalpiniaceae Tamarindus indica L. AA- Raw or cooked
 32-07
Capparaceae Cleome gynandra L. * AA- Cooked
 27-07
Caricaceae Carica papaya L. * AA- Cooked, fresh
 35-07
Compositae Sonchus oleraceus L. AA- Cooked
 36-07
Cucurbitaceae Cucumis figarei Delile Cooked
 AA-30-07
Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea bulbifera L. Fresh
 AA-42-07
Euphorbiaceae Acalypha bipartita Mull. Cooked
 Arg. AA-02-07
 Bridelia scleroneura Fresh
 Mull. Arg. AA-48-07
Fabaceae Vangueria apiculata [L.] Fresh
 Walp * AA-47-07
 Lablab purpureus [L.] Cooked
 Sweet AA-33-07
 Cajanus cajan [L.] Cooked
 Druce * AA-17-07
Labiatae Hyptis spicigera Lam. Cooked
 AA-14-07
Lamiaceae Hoslundia opposita Fresh
 Vahl. * AA-47-07
Loganiaceae Strychnos innocua Delile Fresh
 AA-22-07
Malavaceae Sida rhombifolia L. AA- Cooked
 46-07
 Hibiscus diversifolius Cooked
 L. AA-24-07
 Hibiscus acetosella Cooked
 Welw.ex. Fic AA-24a-07
Moraceae Ficus sycomorus L * Fresh
 AA-44-07
 Ficus natalensis Fresh
 Hochst.AA-45-07
 Ficus sur Forssk Fresh
 AA-43-07
Olacaeae Ximenia americana L. Fresh
 AA-20-07
Papilionaceae Crotalaria ochroleuca Cooked
 G.Don * AA-04-07
 Vigna unguiculata [L.] Cooked
 Walp AA-18-07
 Crotalaria brevidens Cooked
 Benth. AA-41-07
Pedaliaceae Ceratotheca sesamoides Roasted
 Endl. AA-40-07
Sapotaceae Butyrospermum paradoxum Fresh, cooked
 [C.F. Gaertn] Hepper *
 AA-19-07
Solanaceae Solanum nigrum Acerb. Cooked, fresh
 Ex. Dunal AA-03-07
 Physalis minima L. Fresh
 AA-07-07
 Capsicum frutescens Fresh, cooked
 Rodsch. * AA-26-07
 Lycopersicon esculentum Cooked
 Mill. AA-16-07
Tiliaceae Grewia mollis Juss. * Fresh
 AA-05-07
Tricholomataceae Termitomyces aurantiaces Cooked
 AA-38-07
 Termitomyces Cooked
 microcarpus* AA-38a-07
 Termitomyces eurrhizus Cooked
 AA-38b-07
Verbenaceae Vitex doniana Sweet * Fresh
 AA-12-07
 Vitexfischeri Gurke Fresh
 AA-12a-07
 Lanatana camara L. * Fresh
 AA-13-07
Vitaceae Ampelocissus Africana Fresh
 Lour. Merr AA-11-07
Zingiberaceae Aframomum alboviolaceum Fresh
 K. Schum AA-06-06
 Aframomum angustifolium Fresh
 K. Schum* AA-39-07

Family Taxon and collection Habit
 Number

Acanthaceae Asystasia gangetica [L.] Climber
 T. Anderson AA-09-07
 Asystasia mysurensis T. Herb
 Anders AA-37-07
Amaranthaceae Amaranthus graecizans Herd
 Auct.Non L AA-15-07
 Amaranthus dubius Thell Herb
 AA-23-07
Anacardiaceae Rhus vulgarius Meikle Woody shrub
 AA-31-07
 Mangifera indica L. * Tree
 AA-51-07
Annonaceae Annona senegalensis Tree
 Pers. AA-50-07
Apocynaceae Carrisa edulis [Forssk] Woody shrub
 Vahl. AA-21-07
Arecaceae Borassus aethiopium Mart Tree
 AA-34-07
 Phoenix reclinata Jacq. Tree
 AA-49-07
Asclepiadaceae Mondia whiteii skeels * Climber
 AA-01-07
Caesalpiniaceae Tamarindus indica L. AA- Tree
 32-07
Capparaceae Cleome gynandra L. * AA- Herb
 27-07
Caricaceae Carica papaya L.* AA- Tree
 35-07
Compositae Sonchus oleraceus L. AA- Herb
 36-07
Cucurbitaceae Cucumis figarei Delile Creeper
 AA-30-07
Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea bulbifera L. Climber
 AA-42-07
Euphorbiaceae Acalypha bipartita Mull. Herb
 Arg. AA-02-07
 Bridelia scleroneura Tree
 Mull. Arg. AA-48-07
Fabaceae Vangueria apiculata [L.] Tree
 Walp* AA-47-07
 Lablab purpureus [L.] Climber
 Sweet AA-33-07
 Cajanus cajan [L.] Shrub
 Druce * AA-17-07
Labiatae Hyptis spicigera Lam. Shrub
 AA-14-07
Lamiaceae Hoslundia opposita Shrub
 Vahl. * AA-47-07
Loganiaceae Strychnos innocua Delile Tree
 AA-22-07
Malavaceae Sida rhombifolia L. AA- Shrub
 46-07
 Hibiscus diversifolius Shrub
 L. AA-24-07
 Hibiscus acetosella Shrub
 Welw.ex. Fic AA-24a-07
Moraceae Ficus sycomorus L * Tree
 AA-44-07
 Ficus natalensis Tree
 Hochst.AA-45-07
 Ficus sur Forssk Tree
 AA-43-07
Olacaeae Ximenia americana L. Woody shrub
 AA-20-07
Papilionaceae Crotalaria ochroleuca Shrub
 G.Don* AA-04-07
 Vigna unguiculata [L.] Herb
 Walp AA-18-07
 Crotalaria brevidens Shrub
 Benth. AA-41-07
Pedaliaceae Ceratotheca sesamoides Shrub
 Endl. AA-40-07
Sapotaceae Butyrospermum paradoxum Tree
 [C.F. Gaertn] Hepper *
 AA-19-07
Solanaceae Solanum nigrum Acerb. Shrub
 Ex. Dunal AA-03-07
 Physalis minima L. Herb
 AA-07-07
 Capsicum frutescens Shrub
 Rodsch.* AA-26-07
 Lycopersicon esculentum Shrub
 Mill. AA-16-07
Tiliaceae Grewia mollis Juss.* Tree
 AA-05-07
Tricholomataceae Termitomyces aurantiaces Fungi
 AA-38-07
 Termitomyces Fungi
 microcarpus* AA-38a-07
 Termitomyces eurrhizus Fungi
 AA-38b-07
Verbenaceae Vitex doniana Sweet * Tree
 AA-12-07
 Vitexfischeri Gurke Woody shrub
 AA-12a-07
 Lanatana camara L. * Shrub
 AA-13-07
Vitaceae Ampelocissus Africana climber
 Lour. Merr AA-11-07
Zingiberaceae Aframomum alboviolaceum Shrub
 K. Schum AA-06-06
 Aframomum angustifolium Herb
 K. Schum* AA-39-07

Key: W-wild

C-cultivated

Sc-semi-cultivated

*-Plants with reported medicinal values by respondents

Table 3: Reasons for the decline in the consumption of wild food
plants by people in Ngai and Otwal sub counties

Reason for the decline Freq %
in use

Lots of other food 32 24
Wild plants are scarce 45 34
Seasonality 45 34
Lack of time 4 3
Others 6 5

Table 4: Nutritional composition and concentrations of food plants in
terms of Protein, Vitamin C, Beta carotene, Dietary fiber, Iron,
Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium contents of food plant parts.

 Plant Protein Vitamin Beta Dietary
 sample % C % carotene fiber
 ug/g %

Fruits Ficus 7.7 0.68 3.45 68.85
 sycomorus
 Ficus sur 9.35 * 33.18 61.37
 Vitex 3.04 0.31 20.37 47.09
 doniana
 Bridelia 5.68 0.24 14.27 46.26
 scleroneura
 Tamarindus 4.95 0.53 13.91 14.96
 indica
 Cucumis 18.54 0.60 10.83 39.56
 figarei
 Aframomum 9.45 0.35 22.33 17.36
 angustifolium

Seeds Hyptis 0.04 0.28 10.80 61.28
 spicigera
 Cajanus 18.02 0.40 14.11 17.98
 Cajan
 Ceretotheca 8.91 0.33 30.42 41.95
 sesamoides

Vegetables Crotalaria 25.66 0.68 529.53 23.46
 ochroleuca
 Crotalaria 33.47 0.53 600.75 17.45
 brevidens
 Cleome 25.58 0.43 285.36 16.78
 gynandra
 Acalypha 17.11 0.92 167.90 21.11
 bipartita
 Asystasia 18.91 1.40 643.00 70.67
 gangetica
 Hibiscus 20.07 0.63 488.25 23.13
 diversifolius
 Amaranthus 34.08 0.74 586.00 87.40
 graecizans
 Solanum 27.80 1.05 695.81 15.93
 nigrum
 Corchorus 25.29 0.76 736.36 81.25
 olitorius

Roots Mondia 6.29 0.24 5.56 19.84
 whiteii

 Plant Iron Calcium Phosphorus
 sample % mg/100g mg/100g

Fruits Ficus 2.05 238.72 371.42
 sycomorus
 Ficus sur 1.21 289.75 505.76
 Vitex 9.14 80.04 126.43
 doniana
 Bridelia 2.65 124.48 157.67
 scleroneura
 Tamarindus 45.18 101.42 304.92
 indica
 Cucumis 3.76 150.00 509.79
 figarei
 Aframomum 6.66 96.35 345.00
 angustifolium

Seeds Hyptis 2.29 119.29 855.72
 spicigera
 Cajanus 18.39 65.99 555.33
 Cajan
 Ceretotheca 4.99 321.93 206.72
 sesamoides

Vegetables Crotalaria 5.02 442.42 242.54
 ochroleuca
 Crotalaria 7.18 437.99 253.18
 brevidens
 Cleome 48.49 294.18 1167.35
 gynandra
 Acalypha 21.96 867.59 906.02
 bipartita
 Asystasia 13.87 349.50 785.95
 gangetica
 Hibiscus 56.6 256.21 484.13
 diversifolius
 Amaranthus 16.94 573.57 826.79
 graecizans
 Solanum 33.17 447.16 808.52
 nigrum
 Corchorus 32.60 428.45 545.82
 olitorius

Roots Mondia 13.61 123.11 284.04
 whiteii

Key: *--No analysis done

Figure 1: Reasons for eating
wild food plants

Medicinal 15
Delicacy 38
Customary 25
Food shortage 53
Nutritional 67
Value

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Figure 2: The Gender roles in the
collection of wild food plants

all 13%
women and children 21%
children 12%
men 17%
women 37%

Note: Table made from pie chart.
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Article Details
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Author:Acipa, A.; Kamatenesi-Mugisha, M.; Oryem-Origa, H.
Publication:African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6UGAN
Date:Apr 1, 2013
Words:6178
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