Diversity of Poisonous Plants and their Antidotes, Affecting Ruminant Livestock Production on Rangelands in Ghana

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The survival of the extensive livestock system, the practice for most farmers in the livestock industry in Ghana depends heavily on the natural pastures as forage resource. To efficiently use the rangelands, knowledge of the species composition, especially that of poisonous plants is essential. Documented knowledge in Ghana is scanty; documentation and dissemination of the knowledge resource would enable a wider access and wider benefit to stakeholders. A study was conducted in Ghana on poisonous plants with the aim to discover the existence and diversity of poisonous plants and associated antidotes affecting livestock for documentation and preservation of knowledge. 70 different items were cited; 22 were poisonous plants for which antidotes were not cited, 28 were poisonous plants with known antidotes and 32 antidotes. There were 575 citations of plants from 194 reported cases of suspected plant poisoning, categorized as poisonous plants for which no antidotes were cited (146), poisonous plants with cited antidotes (147) and antidotes (282). 50 plants species were identified and belonged to 29 plant families. Some plants were known only by local names. There was an extensive knowledge of the diversity of poisonous plants and antidotes within the ecological zones along with possible antidotes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-132
Number of pages15
JournalGhana Journal of Science
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

We acknowledge the support provided by the government of Ghana through the Agricultural Sub-Sector Investment Project (AgSSIP), funded by the World Bank. The project funded the entire PhD study at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.


  • Poisonous plants
  • livestock
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • diversity
  • Ghana
  • Rangelands


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