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Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources
Year : 2015, Volume : 28, Issue : 1
First page : ( 87) Last page : ( 94)
Print ISSN : 0971-8184. Online ISSN : 0976-1926.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0976-1926.2015.00012.1

Diversity of Tropical Fruits in the Farmlands of Central Western Ghats, India and its Contribution to the Household Income

Bhat Vinay1, Vasudeva R1,*, Nayak GV1, Sthapit Bhuwon R2, Parthasarathy VA3, Reddy BMC3, Rao V Ramanatha4

1Department of Forest Biology and Tree Improvement, College of Forestry, University of Agricultural Sciences, Sirsi-581401, Dharwad-580001, India

2Bioversity-Nepal Office, Dharahara, Pokhara-11, Nepal

3Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru, India

4Bioversity International, Rome, Italy

*Author for Correspondence: E-mail: vasudevar@uasd.in

Abstract

Diversity of tropical fruit tree (TFT) species, their occurrence and relationship with cultivated species in homegardens and their use by humans has rarely been studied systematically in Central Western Ghats. Among all the nine villages sampled in three bioclimatic zones, a total of 10,202 individuals belonging to 55 species were recorded. Mangifera indica was the predominantly (n=4,496) found TFT species in the home-gardens and farmlands of Uttara Kannada district. Richness was highest in up-ghat zone (10.92) and substantial lower in coastal zone (5.95) and lowest in eastern plains (4.04). Major factors contributing to low richness is the increasing replacement with exotic commercial crops (cashew) in coastal zone and the low rainfall and varied climatic conditions in eastern zone. Villages of the up-ghat zone, on an average, showed richness index of 10.92 while its value reduced nearly by half when villages of the coastal zone were considered (5.95). The lowest average richness index was found among the villages of the eastern plains (4.04). Overall, nearly one third of all TFT species (36.36 per cent) were non-native to the Western Ghats which was similar in all three zones. However, non-native trees were dominant in coastal zone (54.96%) and less prominent in up-ghat (31.58%) and eastern zone (13.42%). Average family income derived from TFT was Rs 9.595 in coastal zone, Rs 4.207 in up-ghat zone and Rs 10,591 in eastern zone. Contribution of native and non-native TFT species to total household income is low in all three zones, highest contribution was measured in eastern zone (8.18% of the total family income) and coastal zone (7.56%) and even lower in up-ghat zone (2.27%). Correlation analysis showed a positive relationship between diversity and total household income. Regression analysis showed that total family income postivily contributes to the level of TFT diversity found on farmlands, this contribtion was most significant in coastal and up-ghat zone.

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Keywords

Central Western Ghats, Household Income, Tropical fruit diversity.

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