African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6728

Article in Press

Coping with Catastrophe: Crop Diversity and Crop Production in Tigray National Regional State in northern Ethiopia

R Trevor Wilson

  •  Received: 26 October 2022
  •  Accepted: 20 January 2023
Tigray, the most northerly of Ethiopia’s ethnically based Regional States, covers an area of 53 386 km sq and has a population exceeding 5.17 million of whom some 24.3% are urban dwellers. Wide agroclimatic variations result from altitudinal differences (600-300+ meters) and rainfall patterns. The area is a center of origin of many cultivated and wild plants. The mainly agricultural rural population, farming small areas of non-contiguous plots, makes wide use of these conditions to ensure its livelihood. Crops grown include ten species of cereals, seven pulses legumes), six oilseeds, and numerous fruits, vegetables and spices. Within these groups and species several varieties or landraces are recognized and used to advantage. Wild species are exploited for food, especially at times of crop failure, and for medicines. Crop production is beset by many biotic (weeds, pests, diseases), abiotic (infertile soils) and anthropic (government policy, civil strife, military actions) constraints. Drought is a frequent occurrence and leads to crop failure and famine. In normal times crop yield are low but some of the production is marketed to provide cash for other necessities. Tigray’s population is poverty stricken and often in need of food aid.

Keywords: genetic resources, biodiversity, poverty, drought, food security, famine foods