Advertisement

Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 2379–2395 | Cite as

Indigenous knowledge and traditional conservation of fonio millet (Digitaria exilis, Digitaria iburua) in Togo

  • H. Adoukonou-SagbadjaEmail author
  • A. Dansi
  • R. Vodouhè
  • K. Akpagana
Article

Abstract

Fonio millet (Digitaria exilis Stapf, Digitaria iburua Stapf) is known in Togo far several centuries and has played a strategic role in the household food security mainly in rural areas. Using Participatory Research Appraisal (PRA) tools and techniques, 55 villages randomly selected in the two production zones of Togo were surveyed to document the ethnobotanical and indigenous knowledge related to its production, diversity, use and conservation. For all of the ethnic groups involved in fonio production in Togo (Akposso and Akébou in the south; Losso-Nawda, Lamba, Tamberma, Tchokossi and Gangan in the north), the crop has a high sociocultural value. The fonio genetic diversity being managed by the farmers seems important as 42 landraces were recorded. Two lines of origin that contributed to this current genetic diversity (local domestication or introduction from neighbouring countries) were reported by the farmers. Cooking qualities, growth cycle, colour and size of the grains are the main criteria used by farmers to describe varieties. According to farmers, fonio production and diversity are being regressing because of several constraints of which the most important are lack of adequate harvest, threshing and processing technologies and development of pests and diseases. The important ethnobotanical and indigenous data recorded will be useful in accessing the genetic diversity of the crop in Togo and in defining appropriate strategies for its conservation on farm.

Key words

Digitaria Ethnobotany Fonio Genetic resources management On-farm conservation Togo 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adoukonou-Sagbadja H., Dansi A., Vodouhè R. and Akpagana K. 2003. Collecting fonio (Digitaria exilis Stapf, D. iburua Stapf) landraces in Togo. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter (In press).Google Scholar
  2. Berlin, B. 1992Ethnobotanical ClassificationPrinciples of categorization of plants and animals in traditional societies. PrincetonNew York335Google Scholar
  3. Bezpaly, I. 1984Les Plantes Cultivées en Afrique OccidentalesEditions MIRMoscow8487Google Scholar
  4. Christinck, A., Vom Brocke, K., Kshirsagar, K.G., Weltzien, E., Bramel-Cox, P.J. 2000Participatory methods for collecting germplasm: experiences with farmers in Rajasthan, IndiaPlant Gen. Resour. Newslet.12119Google Scholar
  5. Clayton, W.D., Renvoze, S.A. 1986Genera GraminumGrasses of the WorldKew BullAdditional Series XIIIGoogle Scholar
  6. Clément J. and Leblanc J.M. 1984. Collecte IBPGR-ORSTOM de 1977 au Togo. In Prospection des Digitaria exilis (Fonio) en Afrique de l’Ouest. Catalogue ORSTOM 1984, pp. 3–7.Google Scholar
  7. Dalziel J.M. 1937. The Useful Plant of West Tropical Africa. An Appendix to The Flora of West Tropical Africa. Hutchinson J. and Dalziel J.M. (eds), Crown Agents, London, 612 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Dansi, A., Mignouna, H.D., Zoundjihekpon, J., Sangare, A., Asiedu, R., Quin, F.M. 1999Morphological diversity, cultivar groups and possible descent in the cultivated yams (Dioscorea cayenensis–Dioscorea rotundata complex) of Benin RepublicGenet. Resour. Crop Evol.46371388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dumont, R., Vernier, P. 2000Domestication of yams (Dioscorea cayenensis–rotundata) within the Bariba ethnic group in BeninOutlook Agriculture29137142Google Scholar
  10. Guarino, L., Friis-Hansen, E. 1995Collecting plant genetic resources and documenting associated indigenous knowledge in the field: a participatory approachGuarino, L.Ramanatha Rao, V.Reid, R. eds. Collecting Plant Genetic Diversity, Technical GuidelinesCAB InternationalWallengford, UK345366Google Scholar
  11. Haq, N., Ogbe, D.F. 1995Fonio (Digitaria exilis and Digitaria iburua)Williams, J.T. eds. Cereals and Pseudocereals Chap 5Chapman & Hall2–6 Boundary Row, London SE1 8HN, UK225245Google Scholar
  12. Henrard, J.T. 1950Monograph of the Genus DigitariaLeaden Univ. PressLeadenGoogle Scholar
  13. Hilu, K.W., Mribu, K., Liang, H., Mandelbaum, C. 1997Fonio millets: ethnobotany, genetic diversity and evolutionS. Afr. J. Bot.63185190Google Scholar
  14. Jideani, I.A. 1990Acha – Digitaria exilis – the neglected cerealAgric. Inst.4213243Google Scholar
  15. Matthews, P.J. 1998Taro in Hawaii: present status and current researchPlant Gen. Resour. Newslett.1162629Google Scholar
  16. Mignouna, H.D., Dansi, A. 2003Yam (Dioscorea sp.) domestication by the Nago and Fon ethnic groups in BeninGenet. Resour. Crop Ev.50519528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Orkwor G.C. 1998. In: Orkwor G.C., Asiedu R. and Ekanayake I.J. (eds), Food Yams, Advances in Research. IITA and NRCRI, Nigeria, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
  18. Portères R. 1955. Les céréales mineures du genre Digitaria en Afrique et Europe. J. Agric. Trop. Bot. Appl. 2 .Google Scholar
  19. Portères, R. 1976African cereals: Eleucine, Fonio, Black fonioTeff, Brachiaria, Paspalum, Pennisetum and African riceHarlan, J.R.Wet, J.M.J.Sternler, A.B.L. eds. Origins of African Plant DomesticationMoultonThe Hauge409452Google Scholar
  20. Sambatti, J.B.M, Martins, P.S., Ando, A. 2001Folk taxonomy and evolutionary dynamics of Cassava: a case study in Ubatuba, BrazilEcon. Bot.5593105Google Scholar
  21. Uguru, M.I. 1998Traditional conservation of vegetable cowpea in NigeriaGenet. Resour. Crop Ev.45135138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Oosterhout, S.A.M.. 1990A question of cultural context: formal taxonomy versus peasant classifications of Sorghum bicolor in ZimbabweMitteilungen aus dem Institut für Allgemeine Botanik, Hamburg23b953959Google Scholar
  23. Vietmeyer N.D., Borlaugh N.E., Axtell J., Burton G.W., Harlan J.R. and Rachie K.O. 1996. Fonio (Acha). Lost crop in Africa Chap. 3. BOSTID Publication, 58–75.Google Scholar
  24. Zeven, A.C., Wet, J.M.J. 1982Dictionary of Cultivated Plants and their Regions of Diversity. Excluding Most Ornamentals Forest Trees and Lower PlantsCentre for Agricultural Publishing and DocumentationWageningen128Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Adoukonou-Sagbadja
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. Dansi
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Vodouhè
    • 3
  • K. Akpagana
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Genetic Resources Unit (GRU), Laboratory of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FAST)University of Abomey-CalaviCotonouBENIN
  2. 2.Crop, Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Biodiversity Research and Development Institute (IRDCAM)CotonouBENIN
  3. 3.International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) West and Central AfricaCotonouBENIN
  4. 4.Laboratoire de Botanique et d’Ecologie VégétaleUniversité de LoméLoméTOGO

Personalised recommendations