Folk in-situ conservation of Ensete (Ensete ventricosum) in Ethiopia

Date and Time: 
Friday, 6 May, 2011 - 20:30 to 20:50
SHIGETA, Masayoshi - Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Japan

In the last 20 years of my fieldwork in southwestern Ethiopia, I have
been observing the people gradually abandoning the sacred forests of
wild enset, influence of cash economy, development of modern
education, and increase of non-agricultural livelihood. Ensete is in a
state of “Crisis” facing decreasing trends in amount and area, diet
due to the shift to maize, diversity of varieties, and local
knowledge. To reverse these tends, local people are making efforts to
establish a participatory landrace conservation center in the village,
and mobilizing local farmers, students, local NGOs and GOs, and
researchers for the activities. People are also hoping to create a
joint-effort network within and beyond the area to share the
knowledge. In this paper, I will describe the people’s movement and
basic census data on the landrace diversity. I focus on the “Good
practice”, variance of “cognitive selection”, and surviving potential
interest to enset.