2022-12-31 01:22:23 December
Mehari Girmay, Ermias Lulekal, Birhanu Belay and Kflay Gebrehiwot
The study was conducted in districts surrounding to Hirmi dryland, Northwestern Zone of Tigray region, to study the wild edible plant species (WEPs) type, use, threats, and conservation practices as well as associated community knowledge in the study areas. Six kebeles near Hirmi dryland were chosen to collect the necessary information, with 60 general informants and six key informants recruited. Data were collected through a semi-structured questionnaire, key informant interview, group discussion, and field walk. The collected data were analysed via descriptive statistics, preference ranking, and direct matrix ranking using their respective statistical and computer packages such as ANOVA and t-tests in SPS. A total of 41 wild edible plant species that belong to 35 genera and 28 families were recorded. The family Moraceae was represented by the highest number of species. Riverside was a good source (39%) of wild edible plants. 63% of the plants were eaten their fruit raw while it becomes riped. The informants identified Diospyros mespiliformis, Syzygium guineense, Vangueria madagascariensis, Ximenia americana, and Ziziphus spina-christi as the most abundant, diversified, and year-round wild food plants, accounting for more than 65% of WEP marketability. Deforestation, browsing, expansion of agriculture, over-harvesting, and timber production were the major threats to the wild edible plants. The community utilizes homegardening, awareness raising, selective fencing, and ecological restoration to combat these challenges. There was a significant difference (P 0.05) in the mean number of wild edible plants reported by informants of various ages, marital status, educational status, and experiences. There was no substantial difference between males and women, religion, or districts. Local peoples have indigenous knowledge and expertise in using and conserving wild edible pants, which necessitates participation in the government's sustainable forest management approach.
Keywords: Conservation, Ecological services, Hirmi, Indigenous knowledge, Wild edible plant