Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Lamjung Campus, Nepal, 2021
Neglected and underutilized species (NUS) are proven superfoods, but still many of those species are not mainstreamed in our food system. In this regard, research was carried out to explore diversity and identify prioritized species, explore use-values, and identify the role of a socio-demographic factor in its conservation and promotion. For this, a survey was conducted at two rural municipalities’ viz. Marsayndi Rural Municipality-01 (Ghanpokhara) and Kwhlosothar Rural Municipality (ward no-03, Ghalegaun & ward no-04, Bhujung) in Lamjung district of Nepal. Location wise cluster sampling was conducted for data collection and the techniques employed were direct field observation, household sampling, key informant interview, personal interviews, and field studies. 92 species were documented during the study, moreover, a significant role of socio-demographic factors was seen in characterizing, evaluating, and conserving NUS on-farm. The results indicated that the education status and primary occupation of the household head had a major role whereas ethnicity had a certain level of the role while gender had no role to play on on-farm conservation of NUS. People with basic education status and agriculture as their primary occupations showed a higher influence on conservation. The result concludes with some insight on the way forward for NUS and addresses a need to establish a research and development program including all potential participants such as with government, academics, entrepreneurs, and producers to promote NUS.