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Title: Are quelea birds really a menace? Innovative use of indigenous knowledge systems in the harvesting and utilisation of quelea lathamii in Hwange District of Matabeleland North Province.
Authors: Mpala, Canisius
Sibanda, P
Dlamini, M
Sibanda, B
Keywords: Quelea harvesting
Quelea utilisation
Indigenous knowledge systems
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Publisher: International Journal of Agricultural Sciences
Abstract: Quelea birds have been a threat to summer subsistence small grains and commercial winter cereal cropping in Zimbabwe. Control techniques using toxicant Fenthion through sprays has been developed in Zimbabwe. The harvesting and utilisation of quelea by the rural communities has always occurred using indigenous knowledge systems. To assess this, a survey was conducted in July 2012 to April 2013 in Hwange. The study sought to identify and assess the indigenous harvesting methods, consumption and impact of quelea harvesting on livelihoods, incomes and food security. Data was collected through focus group discussions, field observations and a questionnaire survey on forty harvesters. The study found that quelea birds are consumed and sold on the informal market for 20 birds per US$1.00. The locals use latex from Euphorbia ingens, Euphorbia persistentifolia, Euphorbia fortissima and wax from Colophospermum mopane through an ingenious environmentally friendly Chembwe trapping concept. Euphorbia cooperi latex was not used because it is poisonous. The study found that 600-1000 birds are caught per day from February to June. Harvesters get up to 350 kg of grain and USD500.00 per month from sales. The birds provide a cheap source of protein, employment and improved livelihoods. More information on preservation and processing is required.
Appears in Collections:Department of Crop and Soil Science

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