Nevin Manimala Statistics

On-farm diversity, use pattern, and conservation of enset (Ensete ventricosum) genetic resources in southern Ethiopia

J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2023 Jan 5;19(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s13002-022-00569-x.


BACKGROUND: Enset is an important source of food and is consumed by about 25 million people as a staple or co-staple food crop mainly in southern parts of Ethiopia. Large numbers of enset landraces exist in different administrative zones of Ethiopia with a wide range of altitudes and agroclimatic zones. However, limited information is available on the diversity, distribution, and utilization pattern corresponding to the diverse ethnolinguistic as well as sociocultural communities of the country. Hence, this study was devised to explore and document the richness of farmers’ tradition and practice on the diversity and distribution of enset landraces on the farm level and selection pattern for different purposes regarding the production, utilization, and conservation of enset genetic resources.

METHODS: The study was conducted in four major enset-growing administrative zones of Ethiopia, namely Hadiya, Kembata-Tembaro, Gurage, and Silte. A total of 240 farm households were surveyed using individual interviews, 18 key informant interviews, 36 focus group discussions with 5 participants, and direct on-farm field observations for data collection. Considering that enset has a rich cultural background and indigenous knowledge, ethnobotanical research approach was applied to data collection and analysis. The Shannon-Weaver, Simpson, Pielou, and Jaccard’s similarity indices were used to evaluate the diversity and similarity of the landraces as well as using descriptive statistics in SPSS Ver. 24. Preference in direct matrix ranking was also used to compute and rank the enset landraces most preferred by the people in the context of specific use value in the study area.

RESULTS: A total of 282 farmer-named enset landraces have been identified, with a range from 2 to 32 on individual homegardens. The largest number of landraces was found in the Hadiya Zone (86), while the lowest was scored in the Silte Zone (57). The Shannon diversity index (H’) ranged from 3.73 (Silte) to 3.96 (Hadiya). Similarly, landraces revealed a very narrow range of variances in Simpson’s 1-D diversity index, and it ranged from 0.963 (Silte) to 0.978 (Hadiya). Likewise, the similarity index ranged from 0.24 to 0.73 sharing 16-47 landraces in common. Of the 282 landraces, 210 (74.5%) were recorded in more than one zones, whereas 72 (25.5%) had narrow distribution being restricted to a single zone.

CONCLUSIONS: Farmers have established long-term practices and experiences in cultivation, utilization, and conservation of a diverse group of enset landraces to fill their domestic and market purposes in each zone. The variation is likely to be related to agroclimatic differences, ethnicity factors, food cultures, and historical backgrounds. Therefore, to facilitate on-farm conservation as well as sustainable utilization of the enset genetic resources, farmers need to be supported by different stakeholders for all their worth and also in crop improvement programs.

PMID:36604690 | DOI:10.1186/s13002-022-00569-x

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