HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
September 16-18, 2024 | Rome, Italy
FAT 2023

Jolly Rajat

Jolly Rajat, Speaker at Food Science Congress
Pwani University, Kenya
Title : Harnessing edible crops of Kaya forests


The Kayas are forests reservoirs of high biodiversity and local communities’ around these forests are custodian to rich indigenous knowledge on plants and are highly dependent on these diversified vegetation for their livelihood.  The Kaya system and biodiversity are both threatened and yet is core to conservation and utilization of the important forest resources. A study was conducted to document the knowledge on Fruit and Vegetable plant species prevalent inside these two sacred forests: Kaya Kauma in Kilifi county and Kaya Tsolokero in Junju location in Kenya with the aim of conservation of plants and to gain autochthonous knowledge associated with these plants in the population. Results based on a questionnaire survey for forest study with the Kaya elders and quadrants laid in the two forests presented that a total of  a total of out of the total useful plants recorded from the forest 15% and 33% species were edible food plants from Kaya Kauma and Kaya Tsolokero respectively. Out of the recorded edible food plants in the forests 75% species were fruits, 12% vegetable and 12% condiments from Kaya Kauma and 80% fruits and 19% vegetables from Kaya Tsolokero respectively. More fruit plants were recorded from both forests. The commercialisation and domestication of fruit plants was on a higher side as compared to vegetables. It was evident by these survey that the biodiversity of indigenous forest flora marks in horticultural systems amidst the local communities.

Key words: biodiversity; conservation

What will audience learn from your presentation?
The audience are expected to learn: 
1. About the Kenyan coastal forests which are sacred and have been preserved as Kaya forests under the management of local communities.
2. The diversified vegetation in these forests which has fulfilled the livelihoods of communities residing around them.
3. Knowledge on indigenous food plants and their uses in the communities around Kaya Kauma and Kaya Tsolokero.
4. Analysis of knowledge using Kruskal-Wallis H Test using SPSS Statistics for significant differences between knowledge among the categories of population
5. It is important to harness this knowledge of communities to improve the livelihoods of the society. 
6. This documentation is expected to retain the rich indigenous knowledge of these communities .



Dr. Jolly Rajat studied Masters in Botany from India at Patna University and graduated in 1999. She did her bachelors in Education 2002. She got her Ph.D from Pwani University, Kenya in 2020. She did the first survey to document ethno-botanical knowledge in communities around sacred African forest of Kaya Kauma and Tsolokero. She studied the biodiversity of these forests and documentation of entire useful flora which aids the communities to sustain their livelihood. She also validated herbal species in use with the communities to demonstrate the efficacy of these plants against common bacteria. She has published 9 research papers. She works as a part time lecturer in the department of Environmental Science in Pwani University in Kilifi, Kenya. She emerges as the first Indian expatriate in Kenya to have successfully attained the degree of Philosophy.