Ethnobotany and Collection of West African Okra [Abelmoschus caillei (A. Chev.) Stevels] Germplasm in Some Communities in Edo and Delta States, Southern Nigeria
AbstractWest African Okra (WAO), [Abelmoschus caillei (A. Chev.) Stevels, Malvaceae] is a garden cultivar in
traditional agricultural system in West Africa, which is its center of diversity. In this study, WAO germplasm
collection missions were carried out in Koko, Agbor and Umunede communities in Delta state and Abudu,
Ogan, Ologbo, Agenebode communities in Edo state. Through random sampling, informants were selected and
administered open and close ended questionnaire in order to assess local knowledge of WAO. Three scheduled
visits were carried out to each community. A total of 179 accessions of WAO were collected from the different
communities with 70 (ten from each community) accessions examined. Demographic distribution suggests
78.6% and 21.4% female to male respondents respectively. Majority of these germplasm holders practice
Christianity (88.1%) with the largest age range group encountered been 51-60 (29.4%) while the least was 21-
30 (9.1%). The prominent occupation of respondents was farming (45.2%) while dominant ethnic groups were
Benin (42.9%) and Ika (16.7%). The presences of some vegetables considered as competitive substitute were
recorded from the study area including Common Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), Pumpkin (Telfairia
occidentalis), Pigweed (Amaranthus sp.), Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), Bitter leaf (Vernonia
amygdalina), Water leaf (Talinum triangulare) and Scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum). Food and non-food use
was recorded for WAO. Local names for the crop include Omonukpogbe, Onanukporu, Ukhia noka, Okuru
okoki and Manukpogbe. Food use dominates non-food use for WAO in the study area regardless of the
industrial potentials of the wood and phytochemicals. The study has emphasized the roles of traditional
agriculture system and local knowledge in the management of crop germplasm.
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