Trees 0 General Info This unarmed Tree is up to 12m high and has a rounded crown. The simple, thin Leaves are petiolate. The 5-merous yellow Flowers are bisexual and actinomorphic. Description Previous Names: Phyllogeiton zeyheri, Rhamnus zeyheri.

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People of the world have depended on wild plants for their diets for hundreds of thousands of years and many people continue to rely on these species to meet at least part of their daily food and nutritional needs.

Different human groups living in similar or slightly different environments especially near natural forests and dryland woodland and savannas use different basket of species from wild edible plants Turner et al. These differences have been explained from habitat differences and different levels of availability of foods and diversity Turner et al.

An attitude is suggested to allow choices from the potentially available biodiversity of a set of species that are acceptable within a group and have acquired status within small human communities over time Turner et al. Wild plant species, even for agrarian peoples or pastoralists who mainly used animal products, would have assumed a special importance during times of crop failure and famine Turner, The consumption of wild edible plants is also common and widespread in food security areas and in species diverse areas Tairo, ; Feyssa et al.

They also recommended the need for further research in this area. Wild foods provide diversity of nutrients in the diet of many households, especially in semi-arid and humid tropics Feyssa et al. Therefore, wild edible plants play an indispensable role to humankind in multiple ways including food, fuel wood, medicine, construction material, forage for livestock, environmental services and other uses yet not identified or known by different local communities Balemie and Kebebew, ; Teklehaymanot and Giday, Local farmers and transhumance pastoralists have accumulated Indigenous Knowledge IK about use and management of local plant resources and their various uses, conservation and management practices Asfaw, This generation old indigenous practices of local communities could provide baseline information for development activities in sustainable resources utilization, management, promotion of WEPs of east Shewa and Ethiopia in general.

In spite of the food and other multipurpose uses of Berchemia discolor, research concerning the use, management and nutrition content of the species is inadequately documented in Ethiopia and obscure in the semiarid east Shewa. This needs focused research to quantify the potential of the species to food and nutrition security.

Hence, there is a need to reverse the underutilization of the species by informing policy using research finding on the use, management and nutrient content of the species Fentahun and Hager, Therefore, the focus of this study was to identify the use and management of Berchemia discolor and quantify the nutrient content and analyse implications to food security in drylands.

The climate of the area is hot with erratic, variable rainfall and unreliable for agricultural activities. Economic activities of the area are mostly livestock production but people in Boosat generally practice mixed agriculture consisting of livestock and crop production. Analysis of major food substances Collection and preparation of fruit sample for laboratory analysis: Prior to undertaking laboratory nutrient analysis on fruit sample, the species was identified through Focus Group Discussions FGDs , interview and field observations as described by Martin and Cotton weather people use the fruits for food and other multiple uses were recorded October, to September, in the study transects.

Data on density and frequency was collected from 6 transects laid in the study area following Cook and Stubbendieck and Mueller-Dombois and Ellenberg Fruit samples were harvested in sample bags and taken to the laboratory for both proximate and essential nutrient analysis.

In order to obviate the effects of different environmental factors and soil types in particular on nutrient contents, care was taken to obtain samples from replicate locations within and between districts following standard procedure Armstrong and Hilton, for ripe fruits of, B. The fruits were ground into fine powder partly using pestle and mortar and F micro plant grinding machine to fine particles and sieved through a mesh sieve of 1 mm.

For each replicate sample from the study sites, all dried sub-samples were pooled together and each composite sample from the localities were analysed in duplicate per land use, giving a total of 4 replicates. Proximate analysis: Nutrient contents were analysed on dry matter basis including moisture, carbohydrate, ash, crude fat, crude fiber and crude protein AOAC, The dried fruits and seeds were cooled in a desiccator and weighed.

The percentage loss in weight was expressed as percentage moisture content. The percentage residue weighed was expressed as total ash content. Determination of crude lipid and crude fibre content: Two grams of dried sample in duplicates were weighed into a porous thimble and its mouth plugged with cotton. The flask was heated on a heating mantle for 3 h to extract the crude lipid. After the extraction, the thimble was removed from the Soxhlet apparatus and the apparatus reassembled and heated over water bath for solvent recovery.

The flask was heated on heating mantle for eight hours to extract the crude lipid. Crude fiber was estimated by acid-base digestion known as Coarse Fiber Analyzer, with 1. The residue after crude lipid extraction was put into a cm3 beaker and cm of boiling 1. Crude fiber content was expressed as a percentage loss in weight on ignition. Determination of crude protein and carbohydrate: Micro-Kjeldahl was used to determine the nitrogen content of the samples. One gram dried powdered sample was placed into a cm3 Kjeldahl digestion flask.

A Kjeldahl digestion tablet and 10 cm3 of concentrated sulf uric acid were added and the sample was boiled until frothing stopped and the digested sample became clear. Crude protein was computed from sample percentage nitrogen content as determined by the Kjeldahl procedure, multiplied by a factor 6. The general factor of 6. Minerals, phosphorus and vitamins analysis: The mineral elements comprising sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorus were determined according to the method of Shahidi et al.

To the remaining material in each crucible, 5 mL of de-ionized water was added and heated until a colourless solution was obtained. The mineral solution in each crucible was transferred into a mL volumetric flask by filtration through Whatman No. This solution was used for elemental analysis by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. A 10 cm long cell was used and concentration of each element in the sample was calculated on percentage of dry matter , i.

Phosphorus content of the digest was determined calorimetrically according to the method described by Nahapetian and Bassir Determination is by a modification of the vanillin method of Ranganna and Broadhurst and Jones , which utilizes the formation of coloured complexes between vanillin and condensed tannins and Catechin is used for the standard and results are expressed as catechin-equivalents.

Determination of energy value: The sample calorific value was calculated in kilocalories kcal multiplying by physiological energy factor composition 4, 4 and 9 of percentage proteins, fats and carbohydrates were used, respectively FAO, , ; USDA, ; Asibey-Berko and Tayie, The conversion factors are for physiological energy, which is the energy value remaining after losses due to digestion and metabolism and deducted from gross energy USDA, where one kcal equals 4.

Organic carbon OC in the fruit was obtained by subtracting total ash mineral from Adams et al. Ascorbic acid vitamin C was determined by redox titration following Pearson, ; Helmenstine, Data analysis: Nutrient composition of B.

The sample calorific value was calculated in kcal by multiplying the percentages of carbohydrate, proteins and crude lipid of fruits by factors 4, 4 and 9, respectively as used by FAO , , Ranganna , USDA , Asibey-Berko and Tayie and AOAC Statistical analysis for nutritional content was done through analysis of variance and means were separated by LSD at 0.

Ethnobotanical information was described in descriptive statistics and qualitatively under specific items following procedures of Martin and Cotton Key informants indicated that there is tendency to conserve the species at farm boarders, live fences and enclosed pasture kalo areas. The relative abundance and densities of Berchemia discolor across land uses indicated it is reasonably abundant in the study area. Relative frequency and densities in Boosat districts are Generally, B.

Berchemia discolor was observed in the study area with flowers and fruits across eight months, May to December except between January to April. In the main rain season the vegetative growth is more prominent. This seasonal abundance of the fruit signifies its contribution to supplement to household food supply and coping with food shortages.

Drivers threatening Berchemia discolor in the study area: According to the key informants, B. Preference ranking across land uses indicated that both transhumance and settled farmers have relatively similar preference for fruits of B.

Preference of B. Comparison of means of nutrient contents of the fruit trees across land use systems: Proteins and carbohydrates B. Thus, land use had significant effect on the nutritional content of B. Essential nutrient content of Berchemia discolor across land uses: The nutrients contents of fruits contents significantly varied vary for all variables analysed except for copper Cu and Condensed Tannin CT Table 5.

Table 1: Averaged pooled summary of values for B. Vitamin content of Berchemia discolor across land uses: Vitamin A content of B. Therefore, land use is a factor to be considered in domestication of the species.

Moreover, the high vitamin C indicates the potential that consumption of the fruits can enhance metallic nutrients absorption such as iron. These two vitamins are also among the critical vitamins focused by current human nutrition security. Nutrition and energy of Berchemia discolor compared with conventional crops: The results of the current study of B.

In terms of energy, the four WEPs are greater than Sorghum bicolor porridge, which is the stable food of semiarid people. Table 7: Nutrient composition of some major Ethiopian farm crops vs. Some were acid, or high in tannins or even mildly toxic until very ripe. But the vitamin C content was often high and sometimes extremely high. There would have been times of year when fruit was either not available at all, or scarce. Tairo has indicated the importance of B.

Most fruit are relatively poor sources of vitamins other than vitamin C and vitamin A and minerals other than potassium , but fruit, along with leaves and roots, are most important for supplying protectant phytochemicals and ascorbic acid vitamin C Berchemia discolor is among indigenous species of social and economic importance which include food from fruit of the trees.

Feyssa et al.


Berchemia discolor

Debela Hunde Feyssa , J. Njoka , Z. Asfaw and M. Nyangito Abstract: Drylands have a multitude of livelihood problems where food insecurity is one of the serious impediments. Both transhumance and settled farmers make their living in the semiarid parts of east Shewa, Ethiopia. They adapt partly to food shortage by using natural resources.


Berchemia zeyheri

Berchemia discolor Klotzsch Hemsl. Family: Rhamnaceae Common names: birdplum, brown ivory Eng. Berchemia discolor is also used medicinally for various ailments. It can be easily propagated from seed. Its stem is pale green, covered with brown lenticels, especially when young. The bark is dark grey and roughly fissured.



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