Economic Botany

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 276–289 | Cite as

Importance and seasonality of vegetable consumption and marketing in Burkina Faso

  • Ole Mertz
  • AnneMette Lykke
  • Anette Reenberg


The use of vegetables in two rural communities in Burkina Faso is quantified through the use of food diaries kept by 13 households during one year. Interviews on preferences, field registration, and a market survey supplement the diaries. The use of wild species is concentrated onParkia biglobosa, Corchorus spp.,Adansonia digitata, andBombax costatum. At least five other wild species are mentioned as important but very rarely occur in the diet, indicating the usefulness of diaries compared to interviews.Capsicum frutescens, Abelmoschus esculentus, Allium cepa, andSolanum lycopersicon are the most commonly used cultivated species. Wild vegetables constitute 35% and 59% of the total vegetable consumption in the two communities. Most products are highly seasonal in supply and prices vary accordingly. Households compensate for the seasonality by drying products, but stocks are often insufficient and vegetable purchases needed. Many of the vegetable species studied should be integrated in agricultural research and extension programs.

Key Words

Burkina Faso diet ethnobotany food diaries quantitative methods vegetables wild food plants 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Burkill, H. M. 1985-1997. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. 2nd Ed. Volumes 1-4. Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.Google Scholar
  2. Chastanet, M. 1991. La cueillette de plantes alimentaires en pays Soninké, Sénégal depuis la fin du XlXème siècle. Histoire et devenir d”un savoirfaire. Pages 253–287in G. Dupré, ed., Savoirs Paysans et Développement. Èditions KARTHALA, Paris.Google Scholar
  3. Christensen, H. 1997. Uses of plants in two indigenous communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. Thesis, Institute of Biology, University of Aarhus.Google Scholar
  4. Dalziel, J. M. 1937. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. Crown Agents for the Colonies, London.Google Scholar
  5. DANIDA/MAE. 1997. Document de Projet. Projet de Developpement Rural dans le Boulgou (PDR/B) Burkina Faso. Ministère des Affaires Etrangères/ DANIDA, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  6. Etkin, N. L., and P. J. Ross. 1982. Food as medicine and medicine as food. Social Science and Medicine 16:1559–1573.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gakou, M., J. E. Force, and W. J. McLaughlin. 1994. Non-timber forest products in rural Mali: a study of villager use. Agroforestry Systems 28: 213–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Glew, R. H., D. J. Vanderjagt, C. Lockett, L. E. Grivetti, G. C. Smith, A. Pastuszyn, and M. Millson. 1997. Amino acid, fatty acid, and mineral composition of 24 indigenous plants of Burkina Faso. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 10:205–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guinko, S. 1984. Végétation de la Haute-Volta. Thesis. Université de Bordeaux.Google Scholar
  10. Hansen, T. S., and A. Reenberg. 1998. Approaching local limits to field expansion-land use pattern dy-namics in semi-arid Burkina Faso. Danish Journal of Geography 30:56–70.Google Scholar
  11. Herzog, F., D. Gautier-Béguin, and K. Müller. 1996. Uncultivated plants for human nutrition in Côte d”lvoire. Pages 40–49in R. R. B. Leakey, A. B. Temu, M. Melnyk, and P. Vantomme, eds., Domestication and Comercialization of Non-Timber Forest Products in Agroforestry Systems. FAO, Rome.Google Scholar
  12. Humphry, C. M., M. S. Clegg, C. L. Keen, and L. E. Grivetti. 1993. Food diversity and drought survival. The Hausa example. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 44:1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ikeorgu, J. E. G., H. C. Ezumah, and T. A. T. Wahua. 1989. Productivity of species in cassava/ maize/okra/egusi melon complex mixtures in Nigeria. Field Crops Research 21:1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Irvine, F. R. 1948a. The indigenous food plants of West African peoples. Journal of the New York Botanical Garden 49:225–236.Google Scholar
  15. —. 1948b. The indigenous food plants of West African peoples. Journal of the New York Botanical Garden 49:254–267.Google Scholar
  16. Kessler, J. J. 1992. The influence of karite(Vitellaria paradoxa) and nere(Parkia biglobosa) trees on sorghum production in Burkina Faso. Agroforestry Systems 17:97–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lamien, N., A. Sidibe, and J. Bayala. 1996. Use and commercialization of non-timber forest products in western Burkina Faso. Pages 51–64in R. R. B. Leakey, A. B. Temu, M. Melnyk, and P. Vantomme eds., Domestication and Comercialization of Non-Timber Forest Products in Agroforestry Systems. FAO, Rome.Google Scholar
  18. Lebrun, J. P., and A. Stork. 1991. Énumération des plantes à fieurs d”Afrique tropicale. Conservatoire et Jardin Botanique de Geneve, Geneva.Google Scholar
  19. Mertz, O., and A. Reenberg. 1999. Building on diversity: pathways to agricultural intensification in Burkina Faso. Danish Journal of Geography Special Issue 2:125–137.Google Scholar
  20. Muoneke, C. O., and J. E. Asiegbu. 1997. Effect of okra planting density and spatial arrangement in intercrop with maize on the growth and yield of the component species. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 179:201–207.Google Scholar
  21. Ndunguru, B. J., and J. H. Williams. 1993. The impact of varying levels of competition from pearl millet on the yields of groundnut cultivars. Experimental Agriculture 29:29–37.Google Scholar
  22. Nordeide, M. B., A. Hatløy, M. Føiling, E. Lied, and A. Oshaug. 1996. Nutrient composition and nutritional importance of green leaves and wild food resources in an agricultural district, Koutiala, in Southern Mali. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 47:455–468.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ntare, B. R., and J. H. Williams. 1992. Response of cowpea cultivars to planting pattern and date of sowing in intercrops with pearl millet in Niger. Experimental Agriculture 28:41–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Olasantan, F. O. 1992. Vegetable production in traditional farming systems in Nigeria. Outlook on Agriculture 21:117–127.Google Scholar
  25. Palit, P. 1999. Jute. Pages 272–286in D. L. Smith and C. Hamel, eds., Crop Yield. Physiology and Processes. Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  26. Purseglove, J. W. 1987. Tropical crops. Dicotyledons. Longman Scientific and Technical, Harlow, UK.Google Scholar
  27. Reenberg, A., and C. Lund. 1998. Land use and land right dynamics-determinants for resource management options in eastern Burkina Faso. Human Ecology 26:599–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Seignobos, C. 1982. Matières grasses, pares et civilisations agraires (Tchad et Nord-Cameroun). Cahiers d”Outre-Mer 35:229–269.Google Scholar
  29. Smith, G. C., M. S. Clegg, C. L. Keen, and L. E. Grivetti. 1996. Mineral values of selected plant foods common to southern Burkina Faso and to Niamey, Niger, West Africa. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 47:41–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Traore, H., and J. Maillet. 1992. Flore adventice des cultures céréaliéres annuelles du Burkina Faso. Weed research 32:279–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilson, T. D., R. M. Brook, and H. F. Tomlinsom. 1998. Interactions between néré(Parkia biglobosa)and under-planted sorghum in a parkland system in Burkina Faso. Experimental Agriculture 34:85–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wittig, R., K. Hahn, K. Küppers, and U. Schöll. 1992. Geo-und ethnobotanische Untersuchungen im Südosten von Burkina Faso. Pages 35–52in R. Wittig, ed., Beiträge zur kenntnis der Vegetation Westafrikas—aktuelle Forschungsprojekte deutscher Universitäten. Verlag Natur und Wissenschaft Hieronimus und Schmidt, Solingen, Germany.Google Scholar
  33. —,and R. Martina. 1995. Krautige Wildphlanzen in der Provinz Tapoa (Burkina Faso) und ihre Nutzung für die Menschliche Ernährung. Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268:203–212.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden Press 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ole Mertz
    • 1
  • AnneMette Lykke
    • 2
  • Anette Reenberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Systematic BotanyUniversity of AarhusRisskovDenmark
  3. 3.Institute of GeographyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark

Personalised recommendations