Traditional Uses of Plants of Commonland Habitats in Western Chitwan, Nepal
Dangol, Dharma Raj. 2008. “Traditional Uses of Plants of Commonland Habitats in Western Chitwan, Nepal.” Journal of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science 29:71-78.
This paper is based on the flora data gathered from 138 common land plots as part of a multi-method longitudinal study of the reciprocal relations between population and environment in western Chitwan, Nepal. The paper also describes the uses and availability of different species drawing upon both field data and knowledge of indigenous and local residents in the study area. Land use in western Chitwan is changing rapidly and common land areas have been under much stress due to population increase, whereas the common land areas are valuable to local residents. Both indigenous and new migrant residents in this area use the available plant resources for different purposes which bring economic benefit to the households. Plant species provide valuable food, vegetable and medicinal products that maintain human health and general wellbeing of the household. These plants are also economically valuable to farmers with high quality forage value as well as useful for crop management (e.g., pesticide, compost, green manure). Moreover, some plant species are used as fish poison to harvest fish from rivers and streams. Likewise, the common land areas provide materials for use in house construction (e.g., thatch) and making tools with the potential and viable sites as communal grazing land. It is evident that access and utilization of common land resources are important for many households, especially those in remote and poor agricultural areas such as western Chitwan.