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Journal of Forest Science 2012 May; 28(2): 84-96

Indigenous Plant Utilization and Farming System of Garo Tribe in North-East Bangladesh: a Means of Sustainable Biodiversity Conservation

Md. Habibur Rahman and Most. Jannatul Fardusi*
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, School of Agriculture and Mineral Sciences, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet 3114, Bangladesh
A special type of indigenous knowledge on plants utilization and farming system was explored by the Garo tribe community in the North-East region of Bangladesh, which correspond to the severe dependence on homestead forest. Results show that the Garo are totally dependent on the natural resources and that the extent of their dependency is faithfully reflected in their ethno-botanical knowledge. Dependencies that the study addressed focused on various aspects of food, fruit, energy, timber and health care on plants products. Garo tribe community in Bangladesh followed agrosilvipastoral system in their homesteads. They have indigenous hunting procedure to trap the animal in the forest. A total of 9 foods, 15 fruits, 12 energy-producing and 11 timber species was found and recorded that the Garo used in their daily life. Moreover, Garo used 23 medicinal plants species and have vast indigenous knowledge about using herbal medicine in daily health care practices. The Garo women do mostly the household activities, managing homestead forest and helping agricultural field where men perform all hard working activities like ploughing, cutting trees, digging the soil, preparation of horticultural and agricultural land, hunting, etc. The overall quality of life of the Garo could be considerably upgraded if ethno-botanical issues and their own indigenous knowledge will complement with scientific knowledge. The findings of the study conclude that the conservation of the indigenous knowledge of the Garo tribe related to plants utilization can also be turned to good account in forest conservation and is an important tool in this tribal area of Bangladesh.
agroforestry, indigenous knowledge, food habit, fruit consumption, medicinal plants, gender role
Journal of Forest Science 2012 May; 28(2): 84-96
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