Ethnobotanical and nutrient survey of indigenous edible fruits, vegetables and mushrooms of Iringa District, Tanzania

A study on ethnobotany and nutrients survey of indigenous vegetables, fruits and mushrooms was conducted in March 2020 in Iringa Rural District of Tanzania. The objectives was to collect ethnobotany information of the edibles, analyse the level of nutrients and use the obtained information to create awareness in the community on how to use these edibles to improve its economy and health of the citizens. Questioners were used to obtain ethnobotanical information. Opportunistic collection of the edibles was done in March during the rainy season. One hundred edibles were collected for analysis and 80 respondents were interviewed. Data analysis was accomplished using one way ANOVA in the SPSS software (Version 14). Indigenous names and medicinal use of the edibles were reported. Utility and awareness of the community to the edibles was observed to be higher although not statistically significant. Three vegetable species were observed to be more nutritive and statistically significant than others in terms of Fe2+ and ß-carotene while all mushrooms collected were observed to be rich in Fe2+ and PO3-4. Three fruit species, four vegetables species, and two mushrooms families were observed to be preferably eaten in the community. Vitex mombasae and Agaricaceae were the dominating population in the study area. However, the differences in the nutrient levels in the fruits and mushrooms were statistically not significant. Communities were gathered to receive feedback and create awareness on the importance and use of the edibles. The government is encouraged to be involved in the dissemination of this information to bolster the economy and improve the health of her people.

 Washa Bugalama Washa