African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6840

Article in Press

Survey of Ethnobotanical and Diversity of Edible Root and Tuber Crops in Sheka and Bench Maji Zones, Southwest Ethiopia

Belachew Garedew

  •  Received: 28 August 2018
  •  Accepted: 15 October 2018
The edible root and tuber crops provide a substantial part of the food supply, which are grown widely throughout tropical and subtropical regions around the world. This research was done in the Sheka and Benchi Maji Zones of Southwest Ethiopia with an objective of exploring Ethnobotanical and diversity management of root and tuber crops by local farmers. A total of 375 informants were selected using purposive and random sampling methods. Relevant data were gathered using semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions and field observations. The collected data were analyzed by using Microsoft excel and descriptive statistics. A total of 11 edible root and tuber crops were recorded from which Ensete ventricosum, Coccinia abyssinica, Plectranthus edulis, Dioscorea abyssinica were native to Ethiopia. Almost all farmers cultivate Enset (23.47%), followed by Taro (19.84%), Tannia (17.71%) and Yam (16.71%). Enset was a leading crop in the farmers of Sheka zone, whereas taro and yams were the commonest crops in Bench Maji zone. Majority root and tuber crops could be cultivated in monocultures (37.87%). The productivity of root and tuber crops were often affected by the accumulation of pests and diseases (23.94%), which were passed on through vegetative propagation and other means and followed by lack of appropriate planting materials (15.26%) that used raw material for propagation. Thus, it is important to highlight the importance of the traditional knowledge associated to the cultivation of edible root and tuber crops. Therefore, the concerted efforts should be made among stakeholders to enhance productivity in the potential area using modern approaches.

Keywords: Ethnobotany, traditional knowledge, indigenous knowledge, Cultivations of root and tuber.