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Ethiopian crop ’enset’ identified as climate coping strategy in drought-prone regions

Phys.org/news (NOVEMBER 23, 2022)

Titre : Ethiopian crop ’enset’ identified as climate coping strategy in drought-prone regions

Scientists have found that smallholder farmers in Ethiopia grow more of the indigenous crop Ensete ventricosum in the direct aftermath of severe droughts as a means of bolstering food security.

Phys.org/news (NOVEMBER 23, 2022)

Présentation
E. ventricosum or enset, has long been known as Ethiopia’s "tree against hunger" thanks to its remarkable versatility as a crop, and tolerance to diseases and drought. Now, researchers are beginning to understand the role enset and other perennial food crops play as climate coping strategies in parts of Ethiopia susceptible to long-term drought events, particularly as a buffer against other crop failures.

It is estimated that more than half of the world’s food-derived calories are grown on smallholder farms less than two hectares in size. Most of these farms are largely dependent on rainfall for irrigation and have little-to-no access to expensive inputs such as tools, seed, machinery and fertilizers. This combination of factors leaves smallholder farmers vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as prolonged drought, and climatic variability associated with climate change.

According to the new research, however, indigenous knowledge and farming practices in Ethiopia point towards ways of coping in the aftermath of periodic drought, which is a frequent occurrence in the Horn of Africa. The study’s authors collected agriculture statistics and regional climate data to determine whether there is a relationship between climate and crop production area, with a focus on enset and other associated food crops in the southwest of the country.

Source  : Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 17 janvier 2023