Rich food biodiversity amid low consumption of food items in Kilosa district, Tanzania

Indigenous foods, which contribute largely to the majority of the households food basket in rural Tanzanian communities, have not been fully characterized or documented. The study aimed to document foods available and consumed in Kilosa District, Tanzania, in an attempt to promote, revive use, and build evidence for sustainable utilization of the rich local biodiversity. Data were collected from 307 households in 3 agroecological zones in Kilosa District during the beginning of the rainy season (February-May) and immediately after harvest (September-October). A list of food items was generated, and 24-hour recall was performed. Descriptive statistics were calculated and a student t test statistic was used to compare the means of the Food Biodiversity Score between the agricultural seasons. A total of 183 edible food items were reported by households with more reported in the rainy season (n = 82) compared to harvest season (n = 64). The mean number of food items consumed per day during the rainy season was 4.7 (95% CI: 4.5-5.0) compared to 5.9 (95% CI: 5.7-6.1) during harvest season. About 50% of the households mentioned that wild edible foods were less accepted by household members. Despite the rich local food biodiversity, households relied on few food items which may be due to limited awareness and knowledge about the biodiversity of foods in the community. It is important to educate communities on the rich and affordable food base available locally to improve their food diversity, income, and nutritional status.
Abstract. Full text article available at
Rich food biodiversity, Biodiversity, Food consumption, Kilosa district, Indigenous foods, Dietary diversity, Malnutrition, Food security, Food biodiversity
Ntwenya, J. E., Kinabo, J., Msuya, J., Mamiro, P., Mamiro, D., Njoghomi, E., ... & Huang, M. (2017). Rich food biodiversity amid low consumption of food items in Kilosa district, Tanzania. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 38(4), 501-511.