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Study and classification of edible wild plants

Dhading: Edible wild plants have been classified here. A study shows that such plants have a significant contribution to nutritional security.

With the collaboration of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and other bodies, the Local Initiative for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) conducted a study at Rubi Valley, Khaniyabas and Gangajamuna rural municipalities of Dhading and identified and classified 170 species of edible wild plants.

A total of 257 species of such plants were collected in course of the study. The study showed that the wild edible plants have 13.6 per cent contribution to spices, 17.2 per cent to vegetables and 19.6 per cent to fruits on the basis of their weight consumed by locals in a year. 

There is a condition that 88 per cent of citizens of these areas do not have enough food for a year.  It is necessary to pay attention to the local governments, communities and livelihood earners for its protection, management and continuous availability because such edible wild vegetation is a major basis of food and nutritional asset, income generation and livelihood for the poor and marginalized communities of remote and rural areas.

People from poor communities eat ‘niguro’ (a species of fern), ‘phapre’, ‘khole sag’, ‘allo’ and ‘sisno’ as a vegetable in their meal. These plants are easily found near the forest area and marshland. 

Agriculture and natural resource management officer of LI-BIRD, Sambhu Basnet, said edible vegetation has a 14 to 18 per cent contribution as compared to vegetables cultivated in farms and consumed after purchase.

He added that it was necessary to conserve useful vegetation and transfer knowledge to a new generation.

The study further suggested that it was necessary to conserve edible plants also to diversify foods.

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