BED PRASAD KHATIWADA, ACTION AID INTERNATIONAL, NEPAL
BHIM CHOULAGAIN AND SURENDRA OSTI, SECARD NEPAL
Abstract: Food security is critical issue in context of marginalized communities depending upon natural resources for their livelihoods and chepangs are one among the marginalized. Chepangs are one among the ethnic groups in Nepal living mostly in the fragile ecosystems of mahabharat range. Chepang community possesses immense knowledge on forest products and crop landraces and utilizes the various plants for food, medicine to cope with changing environments. The study was conducted in multistage random sampling of 15 households each from Shaktikhor, Kaule and Siddi VDC of Chitwan district. The underutilized species were used by the local people in different forms (food, vegetables, medicine, and for cultural and economical reasons). The uses of 46 underutilized plant species were documented; including 25 species with multiple functions as food, vegetables, and medicines. The overall contribution was about 2.7 months a year, with a significant difference between Siddhi(3.8months), Shaktikhor(2.4 months) and Kaule(1.9 months).
Keywords: Livelihoods, Food Security, Underutilized Species, Chepang Community, Ethnic