Ethiopian farmers search for answers to disease problems in enset

| April 12, 2015

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Like this week’s story from Ethiopia, our script of the week – from our new Resource Pack – focuses on enset.

Twenty million people, or one-quarter of the population of Ethiopia, rely on enset for food. Southern Ethiopia is well-known for producing enset.

In 1984, there was a severe drought in Ethiopia. But there were few problems in the south, and enset products were transported from southern Ethiopia to other parts of the country. Though other crops failed, enset resisted the drought and helped many people survive.

Enset grows up to 10 metres tall and one metre in diameter, and can yield an incredible amount of food, up to 40 kilograms in a single stem.

Researchers have identified more than 600 varieties of enset. But Ethiopian farmers are finding that the plant is increasingly subject to disease, particularly bacterial wilt.

Because farmers need a solution to enset diseases, Farm Radio International and other partners are working with local radio stations in southern Ethiopia to promote solutions to disease problems.

This script gives information on enset and disease problems in enset. It was produced by interviewing farmers, agricultural experts and researchers.