Traditional and underutilized vegetables of western himalayan region of india

Ishfaq Akbar, P., Jahangeer, A. Baba, Malik, A. R. and Kunzang Lamo

The present investigation conducted in the temperate region of Kashmir valley revealed important underutilized vegetables consumed by the sample population and more common by the tribal communities of the surveyed region. These communities were found expert collectors of these herbs and use them for common culinary and ethnic medicinal purposes. Underutilized species hold a great genetic diversity and a vast heritage of indigenous knowledge. The new emphasis given to indigenous knowledge is creating new favourable conditions for the enhancement of these species largely maintained today by local communities. Due to the modernization the common people are forgetting these traditional foods and because of the floral and genetic erosion due to various natural causes and human interference many of these foods are near to the verge of extinction. Hence the present study was initiated to document the basics information of these lesser known food plants to plan future possibilities for popularizing these valuable herbs. These greens possess enough potential if utilized and explored up to their maximum potential through specific breeding and laboratory techniques to meet the present nutritional needs and secure the future demands.