Cultivated, caught, and collected: defining culturally appropriate foods in Tallé, Niger

The indigenous plants and fish of Niger are incorporated into the Songhai people's daily life but are largely underemphasised in development programmes. In this paper we describe the culturally appropriate foods of Tallé, Niger. Based on information obtained from 42 participants using interviews and focus groups, we identified 11 commonly consumed fish species, 22 plant species, and nine factors that made them culturally appropriate: taste, perceived health effects, economic value, use as snacks or staple, storability, seasonal availability, use in celebrations, abundance, and cultural identity. We conclude with a discussion of how local knowledge can be incorporated into development programmes.

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