An investigation of Mafikeng rural villagers' knowledge and use of african indigenous leafy vegetables (AILVs), and the role of edaphic factors and husbandry practices in their possible domestication
The role of wild African indigenous leafy vegetables (AILVs) for nutritional and medicinal purposes, and in food security is recognized in African countries; however, their use and consumption in South Africa is diminished since they can be associated with poverty and low self-esteem among rural people. Part one of the study was conducted to investigate villagers' general knowledge and utilization of AILVs through a survey conducted among thirty randomly selected households in each of the three villages (Lokaleng, Moshawane and Tsetse) in the Mafikeng area of South Africa. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire administered face to face (personal interview) with the researcher completing the questionnaire as each villager responded. The results showed that all villagers have knowledge of the most common AILVs. The most common AILVs recognized and used were Amaranthus species, Vigna unguiculata, Cucurbita maxima, Cleome gynandra and Chenopodium album. However, Amaranth, C. gynandra and C. album were identified as the three most commonly used AILVs as sources of food. Most participants (67%) cited that in the presence of both AILVs and exotic vegetables, they would preferred AILVs for food. This preference of AILVs versus exotic vegetables was age specific but not gender specific. The youngest age group <20 was the only group which preferred exotic vegetables (63%). Additionally, it was determined that AILVs were simply used as found in the wild and were not domesticated.