African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

The Use of Indigenous Plants for Food Preservation

Uzochukwu Ekeleme, Stephanie Adiruo, Uchechukwu Chukwuocha, Jane Nwakanma, EIkenna Ogini, Ifeoma Uche and Vivian Ikwuagwu

  •  Received: 15 December 2023
  •  Accepted: 14 May 2024
Introduction: This study sought to explore the use of indigenous plant parts as a means of extending the shelf-life of food. Methods: A qualitative descriptive survey was employed, utilising a multi-stage sampling technique to select 396 farmers as participants. A structured questionnaire was used in order to collect data, which was analysed using frequencies and percentages, alongside ANOVA inferential statistics at a 0.05 level of significance and the appropriate degree of freedom. SPSS version 23 was used for analysis. Results: The results revealed that the majority of respondents were aware of the preservative capabilities associated with indigenous plants; 65.1% had an understanding regarding their use for food preservation, whilst 93.2% stated they actively made use thereof. The respondents were knowledgeable that chilli pepper (Capsicum frutescens) can be used to preserve the dried form of rice (57.1%), beans (78.8%), maize (71.5%) and melon (57.3%) for more than 6 months duration. Some of the respondents (66.3%) vouched for the effectiveness of bitter leaf (Vernona amygdalina) in preserving fresh cassava for 8 days to 1-month time frame. Noticeable variations were observed amongst gender, age bracket, educational background, years of farming experience, type of farming exercised and level of revenue when using these indigenous plants. Conclusions: There is adequate knowledge and high utilization and perception of indigenous plants for preservation of food in the area of study. The current knowledge and new findings about these promising plants used for preservation of food need to be transformed into practical applications which are acceptable to consumers.

Keywords: Farmers, Indigenous plants, Food preservation