ON THE AGROFORESTRY SYSTEM AND IN SITU CONSERVATION OF MEDICINAL PLANT GERMPLASM IN TRANSNZOIA DISTRICT, KENYA

  • J.M Ochora Department of Botany, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi
  • J.M. Onguso Institute of Biotechnology Research, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi
  • J.I Kany Department of Botany, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi
Keywords: Agroforestry, in situ conservation, medicinal plants, indigenous medicines

Abstract

n sub-Saharan Africa about 80% of the ever increasing population depends on ethnomedicine for their healthcare
since modern medicine is mostly expensive or unavailable in rural homesteads. However, ethnomedicine is the
one presently recognised as the most effective in treating new emerging diseases such as HIV/AIDS since no
effective conventional medicine exists for their cure. Medicinal plants germplasm, which are the major sources of
ethnomedicine form an important part of forests and riverine vegetation in Kenya. These important plants include
Warburgia, Rhas spp., Aspilia, Acacia, prunus, Molinga, Brascae, Aloe, and Terminalia. These plants are not only
useful to man as a source of medicine but are microhabitats for many animals as well as forming “refugia” to many
insects species. In Kenya, due to land degradation and rampant deforestation in agriculturally high potential areas,
medicinal plants genetic resource is threatened. The most medicinally popular of these plant species, which are
mostly biome restricted, are facing extermination. This paper reports conservation concerns in agriculturally high
potential Trans-Nzoia District in Kenya. The study based on field surveys revealed that of the ca. 806 plants species
in 92 families about 36 species are used for medicinal purposes. The plants are threatened in their indigenous
localities in the District. The study recommends participatory in situ plant conservation in the District along maize
and wheat farm hedges.

Published
2019-05-13