International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 606

Full Length Research Paper

Diversity and distribution of African indigenous vegetable species in Uganda

Godfrey Sseremba
  • Godfrey Sseremba
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, P. O. Box 4, Mukono, Uganda.
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Nahamya Pamela Kabod
  • Nahamya Pamela Kabod
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, P. O. Box 4, Mukono, Uganda.
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Apolo Katwijukye Kasharu
  • Apolo Katwijukye Kasharu
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, P. O. Box 4, Mukono, Uganda.
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John Nkalubo Jaggwe
  • John Nkalubo Jaggwe
  • Farm Gain Africa, Kampala, Uganda.
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Michael Masanza
  • Michael Masanza
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, P. O. Box 4, Mukono, Uganda.
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Elizabeth Balyejusa Kizito
  • Elizabeth Balyejusa Kizito
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, P. O. Box 4, Mukono, Uganda.
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  •  Received: 21 June 2017
  •  Accepted: 25 August 2017
  •  Published: 30 November 2017

Abstract

African indigenous vegetable species (AIVS) provide a means of livelihood to many urban and peri-urban dwellers in Uganda. It was thus deemed necessary to understand the existing diversity and distribution of the traditional African vegetable species as a basis for recommending conservation and utilization strategies against biodiversity loss. A field survey was conducted in the four major agro-ecological zones of Uganda to provide information on a recent abundance of the various AIVS. Results from the survey showed that the Solanaceae (43.4%), Amaranthaceae (15.5%) and Malvaceae (11.6%) were the most prevalent families out of seven different families encountered. Twenty-three (23) species, a number lower than that initially reported in literature and distributed unevenly in the different regions were identified. Majority of the species were the indigenous rather than introduced vegetable species. Firstly, the study is informative of the superior importance of Solanaceous species compared to other AIVS. Secondly, the survey results indicate that the AIVS are becoming increasingly more important in Uganda than their introduced counterparts since all the 43.4% that composed the Solanaceae majority were of indigenous type. Research efforts should be devoted towards improved variety development and germplasm conservation to prevent a possible biodiversity loss of the most important AIVS for increased household incomes and nutrient security among the resource-poor majority in Uganda and other sub-Saharan Africa countries.

Key words: Crop biodiversity, germplasm collection, indigenous vegetables, species abundance.