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Sphenostylis stenocarpa (ex. A. Rich.) Harms., a fading genetic resource in a changing climate: Prerequisite for conservation and sustainability

Sphenostylis stenocarpa (ex. A. Rich.) Harms., a fading genetic resource in a changing climate: Prerequisite for conservation and sustainability

Nnamani, Catherine Veronica, Ajayi, Sunday Adesola, Oselebe, Happiness Ogba, Atkinson, Christopher John, Igboabuchi, Anastasia Ngozi and Ezigbo, Eucharia Chizoba (2017) Sphenostylis stenocarpa (ex. A. Rich.) Harms., a fading genetic resource in a changing climate: Prerequisite for conservation and sustainability. Plants, 6 (3):30. ISSN 2223-7747 (Print), 2223-7747 (Online) (doi:10.3390/plants6030030)

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Abstract

The southeastern part of Nigeria is one of the major hotspot of useful plant genetic resources. These endemic species are associated with a rich indigenous knowledge and cultural diversity in relation to their use and conservation. Sphenostylis stenocarpa (ex. A. Rich.) Harms., (African Yam Bean (AYB), is one such crop within the family of Fabaceae. Its nutritional and eco-friendly characteristics have value in ameliorating malnutrition, hidden hunger and environmental degradation inherent in resource-poor rural and semi-rural communities throughout Africa. However, lack of information from the custodians of this crop is limiting its sustainable development. Ethnobotanical survey on the diversity, uses, and constraints limiting the cultivation and use of the crop in South-eastern Nigeria are documented. Five-hundred respondents were randomly selected and data collected through oral interviews and focused group discussion (FGD). Semi-structured questionnaires (SSQ) were also used to elicit information from a spectrum of AYB users comprising community leaders, farmers, market women and consumers in these states. Results showed that the majority of the respondents lacked formal education and were of age group of 40 - 50 years while, female gender-dominated with limited access to land and extension officers. Seed coat colour largely determined utilization. Long cooking time, requirement for staking materials, aging of farmers and low market demand were among the major constraints limiting further cultivation and utilization of AYB. In-situ conservation is made by hanging dried fruits by the fireside, beside the house, storing in earthenware, calabash gourds, cans and bottles. It is concluded that there is urgent need to scale up conservation through robust linkages between contemporary scientific domains and indigenous peoples in order to harness and incorporate the rich indigenous knowledge in local communities for enhanced scientific knowledge, biodiversity conservation and its sustainable utilization for food security.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: African Yam Bean; Indigenous knowledge; Genetic erosion; Conservation; Food security; Nigeria
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 09:16
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/17475

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