A three Agricultural Zone (Abakaliki, Afikpo and Ohoazzara) exploratory survey of useful plant species in three compound farms in 12 communities in Ebonyi State of Nigeria was conducted to develop a plant species inventory study so as to assess the contribution of plant species in homestead farm to food security and stability in the State. A total of 156 different plant species including 63 woody plant species (exploited, unexploited and endangered) which yield edible fruits, seeds or vegetables, 36 boundary and live fence plant species and 57 different arable and other field crops (legume, cereal, vegetable, spice, herb) were identified in the 12 communities. These communities were classified into three identifiable settlement patterns: nucleated, isolated and dispersed settlements; and the survey revealed that the three settlement patterns had average number of plant species of 79.8, 88.3 and 80.1 respectively. Fifteen (15) plant species of most considerable value have been seen in all the communities visited. Twelve (12) plant species were considered endangered, having been found only in three communities visited while many plant species not exploited were also observed in all the communities. Study therefore revealed that isolated and dispersed settlement patterns produced the highest plant species that are environmental friendly and conservative and as such should be improved for increase food security and stability.
Key words: Homestead farms, plant species, food security, sustainability.
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