Publications Scientifiques

[ Article ] Comparative analysis of diversity and utilization of edible plants in arid and semi-arid areas in Benin

Date de soumission: 16-03-2018
Année de Publication: 2014
Entité/Laboratoire Horticulture Gennetics Unit
Document type : Article
Discipline(s) : Génétique et Amélioration des Plantes
Titre Comparative analysis of diversity and utilization of edible plants in arid and semi-arid areas in Benin
Auteurs SEGNON ALCADE C. [1], Achigan-Dako Enoch Gbenato [2],
Journal: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Catégorie Journal: Internationale
Impact factor: 4.14
Volume Journal: 10
DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-10-80
Resume Background Agrobiodiversity is said to contribute to the sustainability of agricultural systems and food security. However, how this is achieved especially in smallholder farming systems in arid and semi-arid areas is rarely documented. In this study, we explored two contrasting regions in Benin to investigate how agroecological and socioeconomic contexts shape the diversity and utilization of edible plants in these regions. Methods Data were collected through focus group discussions in 12 villages with four in Bassila (semi-arid Sudano-Guinean region) and eight in Boukoumbé (arid Sudanian region). Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 180 farmers (90 in each region). Species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity index were estimated based on presence-absence data obtained from the focus group discussions using species accumulation curves. Results Our results indicated that 115 species belonging to 48 families and 92 genera were used to address food security. Overall, wild species represent 61% of edible plants collected (60% in the semi-arid area and 54% in the arid area). About 25% of wild edible plants were under domestication. Edible species richness and diversity in the semi-arid area were significantly higher than in the arid area. However, farmers in the arid area have developed advanced resource-conserving practices compared to their counterparts in the semi-arid area where slash-and-burn cultivation is still ongoing, resulting in natural resources degradation and loss of biodiversity. There is no significant difference between the two areas for cultivated species richness. The interplay of socio-cultural attributes and agroecological conditions explains the diversity of food plants selected by communities. Conclusions We conclude that if food security has to be addressed, the production and consumption policies must be re-oriented toward the recognition of the place of wild edible plants. For this to happen we suggest a number of policy and strategic decisions as well as research and development actions such as a thorough documentation of wild edible plants and their contribution to household diet, promotion of the ‘’bringing into cultivation” practices, strengthening of livestock-crop integration.
Mots clés Benin, Dry areas, Edible food plants, Food security, Species richness, Socio-cultural attributes, Farmingpractices
Pages 80 -

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