Indigenous Knowledge, Uses and Conservation of Prunus africana (Hook. F.) Kalkman in Nandi Forests
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Prunus africana is a multipurpose medicinal tree of worldwide fame in treatment of benign prostate cancer. However, the wild collection is no-longer sustainable due to overharvesting. In order to conserve the species, there is need to determine the status of the local community knowledge on uses and conservation measures to develop protocols for sustainable utilization and avert extinction of the species. Stratified random sampling was used to interview and administer questionnaires to 188 households and herbalists within a buffer zone of 1 km in South Nandi Forest. The study found that 99% of the locals were aware of the P. africana tree. Majority (82%) agreed that P. africana population was decreasing both in the forests and farmlands. Almost all parts of the P. africana were utilized for different purposes. Majority of the locals (66%) acquire P. africana products from the forest. Closer proximity to the forest and uncontrolled harvesting provides easier accessibility to P. africana for households use. The study concluded that P. africana is an important multipurpose medicinal tree to the local community and recommends enhanced planting and protection within and outside the forests to ensure posterity.
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