Journal of
Agricultural Biotechnology and Sustainable Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Biotech. Sustain. Dev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2340
  • DOI: 10.5897/JABSD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 143

Article in Press

DIVERSITY, COMPOSITION AND UTILIZATION OF HOME GARDEN CROPS

MATTHEW CHIDOZIE OGWU and MOSES EDWIN OSAWARU

Home gardens are small land units for food production, usually within the homestead in rural and urban communities. These gardens are important component of subsistence living and an archive for plant species of mixed life cycles. In this study, a survey of 70 home gardens in the Senior Staff quarters of University of Benin, Nigeria was conducted. The study area was divided into three transects (P-quarter, A-quarters and B-quarters) in order to properly highlight the garden and gardener characteristics, species composition, utilization pattern and availability of plant life forms. Primary data was obtained using open ended questionnaire, crop inventory and field observation through guided walk. A total of 75 crops belonging to 40 families were documented with 27 crops in P-quarters, 56 crops in A-quarters and 65 crops in B-quarters. A total of 28 crop species were common in the three sites. 10 categories of crops were recorded during this survey. Fruits and nuts had the highest occurrence (30.67 %) while sugar crops had the least occurrence (1.33 %). The home gardens visited had characteristics three layered structure, vis a vis a vertical food production – upper, middle and lower layer, similar to a tropical rainforest. Most of the crops were perennial fruits crops mainly used for food, medicine and provision of shade. Two types of home gardens are suggested from this study – tree vegetable located far from the house and vegetable located close to the house. 81.33 % of the crops are used for food with 26.67 % used for non food purposes. This study suggest home garden is a repository of plant species

Keywords: Home garden, Plant diversity, Utilization pattern, Food production