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Use and Management of Balanites aegyptiaca in Drylands of Uganda
Clement Akais Okia,Jacob Godfrey Agea,James Munga Kimondo,Refaat Atalla Ahmed Abohassan,Paul Okiror,Joseph Obua,Zewge Teklehaimanot
Research Journal of Biological Sciences , 2012, DOI: 10.3923/rjbsci.2011.15.24
Abstract: There is strong evidence across the drylands of Africa that local communities have utilized Indigenous Fruit Trees (IFTs) including Balanites for generations. IFTs have however, received limited recognition from research and development community. It is now widely accepted that IFTs research needs to embrace local knowledge since this can be a useful resource in solving local problems and contribute to meaningful development. This study explored local use and management of the Balanites aegyptiaca among two contrasting dryland communities in Uganda. A survey involving 150 respondents was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted to capture detailed information on various aspects of Balanites use and management. The results revealed a wealth of information on local use and management of B. aegyptiaca tree and its products. Besides being a market commodity, several uses of the tree products were reported, especially among women and children. Contrary to its early reference as famine food, B. aegyptiaca products were used by most households. The young leaves and ripe fruits were regarded as dependable dry season food sources in both years of food scarcity and plentiful harvest. However, institutional arrangements for management of Balanites and other IFTs are weak and trees are increasingly being cut for fuelwood. There is a need to build on the local peoples knowledge, especially on processing of products so as to realise increased contribution of Balanites to rural livelihoods in the drylands of Uganda and other areas where the species grows.
Vitex payos (Lour.) Merr Fruit Trees in the Drylands Areas of Eastern Kenya: Use, Marketing and Management
James Munga Kimondo,Jacob Godfrey Agea,Clement Akais Okia,Refaat Atalla Ahmed Abohassan,Jackson Mulatya,Zewge Teklehaimanot
Botany Research Journal , 2011, DOI: 10.3923/brj.2010.14.21
Abstract: This study explored the local use, marketing and management of Vitex payos in drylands areas of Eastern Kenya. Data were collected through household surveys using semi-structured questionnaires; transect walks, informal discussions and direct observations. Questionnaire responses were analyzed to generate descriptive statistics using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while graphs were generated using Excel. Vitex payos fruits were found to be used in >90% of the households and the management of the fruit trees was incidental rather than deliberate. A majority of farmers (>80%) pruned the Vitex payos trees found on the farm to reduce shading effects on the associated crop plants. Coppices from cut trees were managed to provide new crops. Some farmers smoked the flowering and fruiting trees to repel the flying insect pests while a few others sprinkled ash at the base of the tree to deter crawling insects. Besides the consumption of Vitex payos fruits as snacks and sale for income generation, fruits were used for treatment of diarrhoea. The trees were also used for placing of beehives while the leaves, bark and roots were used for making herbal medicine. The wood was used for timber, fuelwood and tool handles. The naturally ripe and fallen fruits were collected on the ground although a few gatherers harvested fruits by climbing and shaking the tree or branches to dislodge the fruits. Within households, the fruits were spread on mats under shade for 1-3 days before taking to the market. Traditionally, mature unripe fruits are placed in buckets and covered with wood ash to hasten ripening. Taste of the fruits was the main criteria used by consumers to select the best fruits. Farmers retained on their farmlands trees with high fruit productivity and those that produce sweet fruits. Ripe fruits were sold on farms, roadside stalls and local markets either by gatherers themselves or through fruit vendors. Gatherers and fruit vendors suffer heavy losses due to fruit damage during transportation to the markets. Lack of storage facilities and low market value lowers the overall income from the sales of the fruits. Small land sizes and lack of planting material negatively affected farmers planting of the trees. There is need to promote the fruits through initiating processing activities to improve on their shelf live and to add value to generate higher income at the farm level. Processing of fruits into high value products like fruit jam and juices should be explored. Increasing the accessibility and availability of good planting material should be explored through vegetative propagation techniques to capture desired traits such as taste, size and high tree productivity.
Wild and Semi-Wild Food Plants of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom of Uganda:Growth Forms, Collection Niches, Parts Consumed, Consumption Patterns, Main Gatherers and Consumers
Jacob Godfrey Agea,Clement Akais Okia,Refaat Atalla Ahmed Abohassan,James Munga Kimondo,Joseph Obua,John Hall,Zewge Teklehaimanot
Environmental Research Journal , 2012, DOI: 10.3923/erj.2011.74.86
Abstract: Numerous publications provide detailed knowledge of Wild and Semi-Wild Food Plants (WSWFPs) in specific locations in Africa. These studies reveal that WSWFPs are essential components of many Africans diets especially in periods of seasonal food shortage. In this study, researchers present the commonly consumed WSWFPs in Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom of Uganda; their growth forms, collection niches, parts mainly consumed, consumption patterns, main gatherers and the main consumers. A total 385 respondents sampled according to Krejcie and Morgan from two sub-countries (Mutunda and Kiryandongo) of Kibanda country in Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom were administered with semi-structured questionnaires. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were also held to validate questionnaire responses and to characterise the commonly consumed WSWFPs in terms of their growth forms and life cycles. Excel spreadsheet and MINITAB statistical software were used to analyze the questionnaire responses. The outputs of FGDs were subjected to thorough content analysis. A total of 62 WSWFPs were reported as being consumed. The most frequently mentioned were Amaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell (73.8%), Amaranthus spinosus L (71.4%), Tamarindus indica L (69.1%). Hibiscus sabdariffa L (51.9%) and Vitex doniana Sweet (50.1%). But in terms of botanical family, members of Solanaceae (9.7%) and Fabaceae (9.7%) families were the most commonly consumed followed by Amaranthaceace (8.1%), Malvaceae (8.1%) and Asteraceae (6.5%) families, respectively. Out of the 62 documented WSWFPs, herbs (51.6%) and shrubs (24.2%) constituted the highest the numbers. Trees, vines/climbers and graminoid were few. Fresh leaves and shoots (97.1%) and fruits (74.3%) were predominantly consumed plant parts in the study area. Most WSWFPs were largely consumed as the main sauce and side dishes after cooking, raw as snacks and as condiments (spices or appetizers). Their consumption as wine and porridge component, beverages, raw in salads, potash salts in other foods and as relishes were infrequent. Women (85.7%) and children (75.1%) were the main gatherers. Few men (10.4%) engaged in gathering activities. Majority (75.8%) of the respondents reported that the gathered plants are consumed nearly by entire household members. About 21% said women are the major consumers. Collection niches varied greatly from forests (forest gaps and margins) (77.8%), bushlands (woodlands) (65.7%), cultivated farmlands (63.2%) and grasslands (59.8%). Other niches included homegardens (homesteads), swampy areas (wetlands), abandoned homesteads and farmlands, wastelands, farm borders, roadsides (footpaths) and areas around animal enclosures/cattle corridors. There is a need for more research on the possibility of adapting, growing and intentionally managing the WSWFPs on farms since large proportion of them are still gathered from out-of-farm niches.
Harvesting and Processing of Balanites aegyptiaca Leaves and Fruits for Local Consumption by Rural Communities in Uganda
Clement Akais Okia,Jacob Godfrey Agea,James Munga Kimondo,Refaat Atalla Ahmed Abohassan,Joseph Obua,Zewge Teklehaimanot
Journal of Food Technology , 2013, DOI: 10.3923/jftech.2011.83.90
Abstract: Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. commonly known as desert date is an important multipurpose tree found in most African countries. Like in many parts of dryland Africa, Balanites leaves and fruits provide livelihood support to many rural households in the drylands of Uganda where other options are limited. The young succulent leaves are a dependable dry season vegetable while the seed kernel obtained after cracking the nut is a valuable oil source. Local methods for harvesting and processing of Balanites products were examined as a step towards promoting their wide use and development of improved processing methods. Harvesting and preparation of Balanites leaves in Katakwi district and fruits/nuts collection and oil extraction in Adjumani district, Uganda were documented. The results revealed that Balanites leaf harvesting involves cutting the young branches and twigs and plucking leaves under the tree. Leaves are boiled within 24 h after collection to avoid loss of taste and to shorten boiling time. Boiled leaves have a shelf life of 2 days only. On the other hand, Balanites oil production starts from the fruits or nuts mainly collected from beneath the parent trees. Oil processing entails cracking the nuts to extract seed kernels followed by pounding and roasting of kernels and oil extraction by hot water floatation method. Cracking the hard nuts to obtain seed kernels is a major challenge in oil extraction process. Oil produced is too little to meet the demand. Processing of Balanites oil is a promising option for improving rural livelihoods in the dryland areas of Uganda where Balanites trees grow naturally and are abundant. However, appropriate tools for cracking the hard Balanites nuts are required to increase oil production. Ways of increasing the shelf life of processed Balanites leaves should also be explored.
Contribution of Wild and Semi-Wild Food Plants to Overall Household Diet in Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, Uganda
Jacob Godfrey Agea,James Munga Kimondo,Clement Akais Okia,Refaat Atalla Ahmed Abohassan,Joseph Obua,John Hall,Zewge Teklehaimanot
Agricultural Journal , 2013, DOI: 10.3923/aj.2011.134.144
Abstract: The contribution of Wild and Semi-wild Food Plants (WSWFPs) to overall household diet was assessed in Mutunda and Kiryandongo, sub-counties of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, Uganda. The assessments were made using a combination of methods namely: household using semi-structured questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). A total of 385 households from the two sub-counties were selected for household survey following the method described by Krejcie and Morgan. Each informant was asked to list, the preferred WSWFPs consumed in the area and to estimate the amount harvested by members of his or her household in the previous 12 months period. In addition, they were asked to report whether or not WSWFPs were used by members of the household during the previous 12 months period. They were also asked to report whether or not the WSWFPs was given away and/or received by members of the household during the previous 12 months period. In addition, they were asked to estimate how long in a year their household members depend on WSWFPs. FGDs were held to construct seasonal calendar of availability of different WSWFPs consumed in the area. Contribution of WSWFPs to household diet was computed using two generic types of measures-mean per capita harvest and mean per capita use (consumption). The durations upon which households depend on WSWFPs was computed and presented in a chart. About 62 WSWFPs belonging to 31 botanical families were reported as commonly being consumed in the study area. Their consumption comprised a major part (7-9 months) of the dietary intake of the poor households. Many are almost available throughout the year for gathering with exception of a few species that are gathered mainly in the rainy or dry seasons. Mean per capita harvests varied substantially by species as high as 31.59 g day-1 in Amaranthus dubius to about 0.04 g day-1 as in Lantana camara. Like mean per capita harvest, mean per capita consumption also varied from one species to another. Mean per capita consumption of some the WSWFPs such as Hyptis spicigera (107.02 g day-1) and Borassus aethiopum (91.82 g day-1) were higher than the reported vegetable and fruit per capita consumption of 79.45 g day-1 in sub-Saharan Africa although, much although much lower than the world average of 205.48 g consumed per person per day. There is a need for policy-makers and technocrats both at the local (counties, sub-counties, parishes, villages) and national levels (e.g., Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries) to create policies by-laws or any other avenues for mainstreaming, the management of some of the WSWFPs with high per capita harvest and per capita consumption rates into the existing, the farming systems and/or any the programs (e.g., Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture) aimed at addressing household poverty and food insecurity. While wild foods cannot entirely bridge, the existing supply and demand gaps of poor household food requirements without them, the gaps woul
Estimating Fruit Yield from Vitex payos (Lour) Merr. in Semi-arid Eastern Province of Kenya: Application of Allometric Equations
James Munga Kimondo,Clement Akais Okia,Jacob Godfrey Agea,Refaat Atalla Ahmed Abohassan,Jackson Mulatya,Zewge Teklehaimanot
Research Journal of Applied Sciences , 2012, DOI: 10.3923/rjasci.2011.153.162
Abstract: Vitex payos (Lour) Merr. is a common species in the semiarid areas of Eastern Kenya. It is a favoured species and is frequently maintained in homestead plots and arable fields in an agroforestry situation. Although, the abundance and popularity of Vitex payos has led to the commercialisation of its fruits, their quantities to sustainability support cottage industries in the rural areas has not been considered. Vitex payos trees were surveyed during fruit season and the quantity of fruits for 120 trees distributed on farm lands and bushlands in three districts counted per tree. Mean fruit yield was significantly higher from farm trees (>6145 fruits per tree) than trees in bushlands areas (<4154 fruits per tree), even after accounting for differences in tree size. Few cases of trees with over 21000 fruits were also recorded from both land uses. Although, the majority of the trees produce <5000 fruits per tree per year, through purposeful selection of germplasm in its wide natural range, production could be increased up to four fold. A fairly accurate prediction of fruits per tree and consequently the quantity available from the farms could be achieved through use of a combined logarithmic and inverse transformation equations using the crown diameter and the tree height. However, considering that the Vitex payos grows in more diverse dryland areas in Kenya including the Eastern, Coastal and Central regions, it is prudent to collect more data from all these areas and test the validity of the equation developed in this study for wide-scale application as a management tool.
Comparative Evaluation of Farmers’ Perception and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change and Variability in Bako Tibe, Ethiopia and Abeokuta, Nigeria  [PDF]
Chizoba Obianuju Oranu, Anthonia Ifeyinwa Achike, Amanuel Zenebe, Abadi Teklehaimanot
American Journal of Climate Change (AJCC) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2018.74038
Abstract: Comparing the perception of farmers to climate change and variability in Bako Tibe, Ethiopia and Abeokuta, Nigeria is important in promoting sustainable agriculture and in understanding the impact of climate change and variability on agriculture in Africa. A total of 153 farmers were interviewed in both study areas using well structure questionnaire. The study describes the socioeconomic characteristics of farmers using descriptive statistics and thereafter the perception of Bako Tibe and Abeokuta farmers to climate change and variability was examined using Likert type scale. The binary logistics regression was later used to ascertain the effect of socioeconomic characteristics on perception of the farmers in both study areas. The farmers in both study areas believed that there have been changes in the amount of rainfall and temperature in the past thirty years. The farmers in Bako agreed that there have been increased temperature and decreased rainfall, contrary to the farmer’s perception in Abeokuta. The binary logistic regression results showed that socioeconomic characteristics of farmers in Bako Tibe, have no effect on the perception of farmers on climate change and variability. However, in Abeokuta, age, land ownership, and distance to market had an effect on the perception on the farmers on climate change and variability. The adaptation strategies to climate change and variability commonly used by Bako Tibe farmers was, improved seed (drought resistance) adaptation method, while most farmers in Abeokuta used soil moisture conservation adaptation method. The study recommends that government and Non-Governmental Organization of both countries should promote more adaptation and mitigation practices to climate change and variability through policy interventions to help curb the impact of climate change and variability to agriculture.
Weather-based prediction of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in epidemic-prone regions of Ethiopia I. Patterns of lagged weather effects reflect biological mechanisms
Hailay D Teklehaimanot, Marc Lipsitch, Awash Teklehaimanot, Joel Schwartz
Malaria Journal , 2004, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-3-41
Abstract: Daily average number of cases was modeled using a robust Poisson regression with rainfall, minimum temperature and maximum temperatures as explanatory variables in a polynomial distributed lag model in 10 districts of Ethiopia. To improve reliability and generalizability within similar climatic conditions, we grouped the districts into two climatic zones, hot and cold.In cold districts, rainfall was associated with a delayed increase in malaria cases, while the association in the hot districts occurred at relatively shorter lags. In cold districts, minimum temperature was associated with malaria cases with a delayed effect. In hot districts, the effect of minimum temperature was non-significant at most lags, and much of its contribution was relatively immediate.The interaction between climatic factors and their biological influence on mosquito and parasite life cycle is a key factor in the association between weather and malaria. These factors should be considered in the development of malaria early warning system.Malaria epidemics due to Plasmodium falciparum are reported frequently in the East African highlands [1-6]. Immunity to malaria in the populations of these epidemic-prone regions is often incomplete, so that epidemics cause high case fatality rates among all age groups. In 1958, a malaria epidemic covering over 250,000 square kilometers resulted in an estimated three million cases and 150,000 deaths in Ethiopia [2]. Since then, large scale epidemics of malaria have been noted every five to eight years. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of malaria early warning systems [7-9] to predict where and when malaria epidemics will occur, with adequate lead-time to target scarce resources for prevention activities. Unusual meteorological conditions, such as especially high rainfall or high temperature, are often cited retrospectively as the precipitating factors for epidemics [10,11]. There have also been formal attempts to predict epidemics by the u
Weather-based prediction of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in epidemic-prone regions of Ethiopia II. Weather-based prediction systems perform comparably to early detection systems in identifying times for interventions
Hailay D Teklehaimanot, Joel Schwartz, Awash Teklehaimanot, Marc Lipsitch
Malaria Journal , 2004, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-3-44
Abstract: Expected case numbers were modeled using a Poisson regression with lagged weather factors in a 4th-degree polynomial distributed lag model. For each week, the numbers of malaria cases were predicted using coefficients obtained using all years except that for which the prediction was being made. The effectiveness of alerts generated by the prediction system was compared against that of alerts based on observed cases. The usefulness of the prediction system was evaluated in cold and hot districts.The system predicts the overall pattern of cases well, yet underestimates the height of the largest peaks. Relative to alerts triggered by observed cases, the alerts triggered by the predicted number of cases performed slightly worse, within 5% of the detection system. The prediction-based alerts were able to prevent 10–25% more cases at a given sensitivity in cold districts than in hot ones.The prediction of malaria cases using lagged weather performed well in identifying periods of increased malaria cases. Weather-derived predictions identified epidemics with reasonable accuracy and better timeliness than early detection systems; therefore, the prediction of malarial epidemics using weather is a plausible alternative to early detection systems.Malaria epidemics are reported frequently and have caused high morbidity and mortality among all age groups in the African highlands [1-4]. Early detection and accurate forecasting of the time, place and intensity of these epidemics is important for emergency preparedness, planning and response [5,6]. Considerable efforts are being made to promote, develop and implement early warning systems for malaria epidemics in Africa [5,7]. Ideally, public health and vector control workers would have access to a system that alerts them when substantial numbers of excess cases are expected, and such alerts should be sensitive (so that alerts are reliably generated when excess cases are imminent), specific (so that there are few "false alarms") an
Fluoride in black and green tea (Camellia sinensis) infusions in Ethiopia: measurement and safety evaluation
Samuel Zerabruk, Bhagwan Singh Chandravanshi, Feleke Zewge
Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia , 2010,
Abstract: The fluoride contents in the infusions of 21 commercially available Ethiopian and imported black and green tea brands; in leaf and bag forms was determined by a fluoride ion-selective electrode method. Of the samples analyzed twelve were products from Ethiopia and the remaining nine were imported tea brands. The effect of brewing time on fluoride release from tea was assessed. Results showed that fluoride release increased with increasing brewing time (3, 5 and 10 min). Fluoride level after 5 min brewing for black tea leaves, green tea bags, and black tea bags was in the range of 117–682 mg/kg, 111–190 mg/kg and 141–246 mg/kg, respectively. The WHO guideline for daily fluoride intake is 2 mg for children and 4 mg for adults. Assuming that one consumes 4 cups of tea everyday (400 mL) and each cup uses 2.5 g of tea leaves, the daily fluoride intake from black tea leaves may be in the range between 1.11 and 6.82 mg. For the same condition, if consumption of one green tea bag is considered, the fluoride intake can be in the range between 1.00 and 1.38 mg. Similarly, intake from the black tea bags may range from 0.86 to 1.81 mg. Considering the Ethiopian black tea alone, the daily fluoride intake may range from 2.48 to 6.82 mg. Thus according to the WHO recommendation for daily fluoride intake and ignoring other possible sources; the black and green tea bags and imported black tea leaves are safe for all age groups. None of the 10 Ethiopian black tea leaf brands are safe for children but 30% of the analyzed samples are safe for adults. KEY WORDS: Black tea infusion, Green tea infusion, Fluoride intake, Brewing time, Safety evaluation Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2010, 24(3), 327-338.
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