The Potential of Wild Yams to Improve Food Security on the Mahafaly Plateau in Southwestern Madagascar
Jessica Andriamparany1, Vololoniaina Jeannoda1, Katja Brinkmann2, Andreas Buerkert2
1University of Antananarivo, Dept. of Biology and Vegetation Ecology, Madagascar
While yams constitute a staple food in many other African countries, they are traditionally used as substitutes during periods of drought and food insecurity in rural areas of Madagascar. The diversity of yams in Madagascar is particularly rich with altogether 41 species of which 27 are endemic. In our study region on the Mahafaly plateau in the semi-arid region of southwestern Madagascar, wild yams collection is practised by 87 % of the households. Based on semi-structured questionnaires, data on wild yams collection, usage and consumption was collected for 218 households in four villages. Altogether, six species of wild yam (Dioscorea ovinala Baker, Dioscorea alatipes Burk. & H.Perr., Dioscorea nako H.Perr., Dioscorea fandra H.Perr., Dioscorea bemandy Jum. & H.Perr, Dioscorea soso Jum. & H.Perr.) were identified as important source of food during lean periods, to substitute cassava and maize.
Keywords: Food security, Mahafaly plateau, wild yams, yams distribution
Contact Address: Katja Brinkmann, University of Kassel, Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, Steinstraße 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany, e-mail: brinkmannuni-kassel.de