Autecology, propagation and utilization of two endangered wrapping – leaf species (thaumatococcus daniellii and hallea ciliate) used in food processing and preservation in Southern Nigeria. – C. O. Akachukwu
Non-Timber Forest products (NTFPs) contribute to the livelihood of the rural people in Nigeria. These may be in form of nuts, seeds, leafy vegetable, fruits, drinks, sweeteners, species or wrapping-leaf species. Two wrapping-leaf species: Thaumatococcus daniellii and Hallea ciliate were studied. Growth characteristics, natural regeneration, propagation, harvesting and utilization of these two species were studied. The result show that in T. daniellii leaf length and leaf width ranged from 24.8-70.5cm and 16.3-38.1cm respectively, while stem length ranged from 54 – 237cm and stem girth from 1.0-3.1. In H.ciliata the leaves were also large 20-45cm long and 12.5-30cm wide, stem height and stem girth ranged from 50-400 cm and 12-250cm respectively in young tress. The inter-relationships among the growth parameters measured showed that significant positive relationships occurred between them. Results show that the best planting period for raising T.daniellii was between the month of April and May and in micro-habitat that is shaded and flooded only during the rainy season and dried up during the dry season. The leaves are used to wrap and steam cook bean pudding (locally called “moi-mio”) and sometimes used to wrap cooked foods for sale. H.ciliata leaves are used for wrapping and preserving kolanuts. There is a need to encourage massive propagation of these species to ensure sustainable supplies.