Traditional knowledge and practices on utilisation and marketing of Yeheb (Cordeauxia edulis) in Ethiopia
Cordeauxia edulis (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae), commonly called Yeheb, is a small nitrogen-fixing tree/shrub species endemic to Ethiopia and Somalia. The tree produces nuts that are consumed as a staple food by the local people and are sold in local markets. Recent reports indicate that Yeheb has vanished from many locations noted by earlier travellers and, as a result, it is considered threatened (Vulnerable A2cd) by IUCN. The present study was conducted in Boh district, in the Somali region of Ethiopia to assess local people’s knowledge and practices on the use and marketing of the species and its products. A total of 182 households and 32 traders were interviewed from ten villages where the remnant populations of Yeheb are currently found. The results of the study suggest that Yeheb plays a significant role in the livelihoods of the local community. Consumption of nuts as a staple food is the major use of Yeheb. The nuts are also sold, generating a significant household income for the local people. The foliage of Yeheb is a major browse for camels and goats, and 90 % of the houses are built from the wood of Yeheb. It is recommended that conservation measures be put in place to protect this important species from extinction.