Biology Agriculture Aquaculture Horticulture Postharvest Forestry Geography Environment Health

Conservation of Socioculturally Important Local Crop Biodiversity in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia: A Case Study

submitted by tkengon 1 year and 9 months ago
In this study, we surveyed diversity in a range of local crops in the Lume and Gimbichu districts of Ethiopia, together with the knowledge of local people regarding crop uses, socio-economic importance, conservation, management and existing threats. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and participant observation. The study identified 28 farmers’ varieties of 12 crop species. Among these, wheat (Triticum turgidum) and tef (Eragrostis tef) have high intra-specific diversity, with 9 and 6 varieties respectively. Self-seed supply or seed saving was the main (8 %) source of seeds for replanting. Agronomic performance (yield and pest resistance), market demand, nutritional and use diversity attributes of the crop varieties were highlighted as important criteria for making decisions regarding planting and maintenance. Over 74 % of the informants grow a combination of “improved” and farmers’ varieties. Of the farmers’ varieties, the most obvious decline and/or loss was reported for wheat varieties. Introduction of improved wheat varieties, pest infestation, shortage of land, low yield performance and climate variability were identified as the principal factors contributing to this loss or decline. Appropriate interventions for future conservation and sustainable use of farmers’ varieties were suggested.

Topic: Environment

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