Food diversity and drought survival. The hausa example

Carol M. Humphry, Michael S. Clegg, Carl L Keen, Louis E. Grivetti

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69 Scopus citations


Two Hausa villages in the Sahel of south-eastern Niger were surveyed for food procurement practices, with special focus on dietary use of wild plants. Activities and behaviours during years of adequate rainfall were compared to practices during drought. A diversified food base was maintained through hunting, gathering, agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry. Members of households surveyed (n = 112) foraged for edible wild plants located in bushlands adjacent to villages, within household compounds, or within agricultural fields. Dominant agricultural crops were beans, millet, peanuts, and sorghum; prominent household garden species were melon, okra, and squash. At the time of the survey most households experienced marginal crop yields. Edible wild plants were prominent in local diet during both drought and during years of adequate rainfall; more than 80 species were commonly consumed. Protein values of several wild plants exceeded 20% including Amaranthus hybridus, Cassia occidentalis, Cenchrus biflorus, Corchorus tridens, Crataeva religiosa, and Tribulus terrestris. Other species contained high concentrations of calcium, iron, copper, and/or zinc, including Ceratotheca sesamoides, Commiphora africana, Cyperus digitatus, Ficus dekdekenna, and Gynandropsis gynandra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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