Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 385

Full Length Research Paper

A resource survey for medicinal and edible plant species in the four ecological zones of rural Swaziland

  Cliff S. Dlamini* and Coert J. Geldenhuys  
Department of Forest and Wood Science, Faculty of Agrisciences, University of Stellenbosch, P/B X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 July 2011
  •  Published: 04 September 2011

Abstract

 

Increased and uncontrolled harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) often leads to disappearance of numerous plant species and ultimately forest degradation. The objective of this study was to conduct resource surveys to assess the condition and actual quantities of standing stock of species of edible and medicinal NTFPs, and to do an economic analysis of the value of the standing stock. The methods used incorporated a total of ten sampling plots (50 m × 50 m) under each landscape area in each study area. Various indigenous species of plants that supply NTFPs were captured in the study sites. However, this study indicated a lack of the common NTFP species in most plots sampled over the four natural woodlands. This was assumed to be due to uncontrolled and unsustainable harvesting for commercial purposes that have led to obvious patches in the forest and forest degradation. Economic analysis showed that the standing stock of NTFP species is highly valuable and comparable to results from South Africa and elsewhere. There were highly significant differences in the number of individual stems per species per plot between sites. There were no significant differences in the inventory value per plot between sites.

 

Key words: Resource assessment, NTFPs resource inventory, resource management, edible, medicinal, standing stock, farm gate prices, natural forests.