Sachin Dayaram Golait*, Shankar Laxman Laware and Sanjay Gajanan Auti
This paper reports an ethnobotanical investigation performed during 2017-2020 to collect, identify and document information on the wild edible fruits traditionally used by tribal and rural communities of North Maharashtra, specially Nashik, Nandurbar, and Dhule district. 55 wild edible fruit species are documented used by tribal and rural peoples traditionally as a food. Collected species belong to 25 families and Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Moraceae, and Phyllanthaceae emerge as the largest families. Analysis of collected information revealed that 29 species are consumed as raw fruits, 26 species as vegetables, 2 species as both raw and vegetables, 5 species as pickles, 1species as a soft drink. 37 species are commonly used and 29 species are sold commercially in the local market as food. Study shows that wild edible fruits are highly nutritious and playing a significant role in the sustainable development of the tribal regions since from a long time. But due to less awareness, loss of vegetation and fast erosion of traditional knowledge many species are on the line of rarity. The study helps to conserve those wild food species and cultivate on large scales, to uplift their economical status and sustainable management in near future.
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