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A case study in the utilization of the underutilized crop; Salacia species in lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. M. Amarathunge ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. M.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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L. H. P. Gunaratne,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About L. H. P.
Department of Agricultural Economics & Business Management, Faculty of Agriculture
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D. V. P. Prasada

University of Peradeniya, LK
About D. V. P.
Department of Agricultural Economics & Business Management, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

A large population in developing countries depends on herbal drugs for their health care needs. We recognized a central gap in recent ethno-pharmacological research in Salacia species, which impacts factors applicable for a sustainable, equal socio-cultural, and safe supply of herbal medicines. The study was conducted at the lowland wet zone in Sri Lanka to understand the current environmental, economic, and social status of various Salacia species. Data were collected from using a mixed-method approach with a general review of the literature in a systematic online search with a hand search of bibliographies, face to face interviews, and discussions with respondents from March to May 2019. The data were collected from a total of 100 respondents that consisted of cultivators (60), collectors (2), traders (10), processors (5), and consumers (23). The survey results revealed that Salacia species in the wild are illegally harvested by unskilled persons for different purposes and economic benefit through illegal sales. It also revealed various issues such as the lack of knowledge about Salacia species, harvesting time, unavailability of desired Salacia species, and government restrictions or bans on wild collection faced by Salacia species collectors in the region had occurred in this field. This suggests that there is a need to develop practical and economically sound strategies for the efficient utilization of Salacia species to improve the condition of marginalized communities, which is a process that should eventually lead the country towards greater economic stability.
How to Cite: Amarathunge, S.M., Gunaratne, L.H.P. and Prasada, D.V.P., 2021. A case study in the utilization of the underutilized crop; Salacia species in lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. AGRIEAST: Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 15(1), pp.43–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/agrieast.v15i1.100
Published on 16 Sep 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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