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 .