Item Details


Date Published: 2006
Author/s: Enock Musinguzi, Joyce K. Kikafunda, B.T. Kiremire
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks:
Journal Publisher:
Affiliation: Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: Survey, indigenous foods, utilisation, Uganda


The purpose of the study was to document and establish the traditional processing
methods of indigenous food plants in Rukungiri district. In order to establish the
status and level of utilization and processing of indigenous food plants in southwestern Uganda, a baseline survey was carried out using a participatory method
of data collection. Respondents in Rukungiri district cited a total of 94 plants that
were used for food. Some of the food plants were classified as indigenous to the
area, while others were classified as exotic. The food types generally fell into five
broad categories, namely; vegetables, fruits, roots/tubers, pulses and cereals.
Vegetables and fruits were the most commonly used food plants and the
Amaranths species were found to be the most popular vegetables, whereas wild
plums (Carissa edulis) and gooseberries (Physalis minima) were cited among the
preferred fruit species. In spite of the fact that indigenous/traditional food plants
have always ensured food security at the household level, the process of collecting
them from the wild, their production,consumption and domestication was found
to be on the decline in this area. This decline can be attributed to limited available
knowledge on their nutritional content and to the emphasis that is placed on
commercial, high yielding exotic plants by both the agricultural extension officers
and farmers. The majority of farmers are only interested in the cultivation of
crops from which they can earn an income, and because no one has cultivated
indigenous food plants with the intention of earning an income from them, the
plants have not proved their worth. Although the methods of utilization, especially
food preparation, varied from one household to another, boiling, steaming and
frying were very common and cross-cutting almost all the households. The
principal mode of food preservation cited by households, especially for seeds, was
sun drying.