African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6577

Full Length Research Paper

Farmers’ perception of agromorphological traits and uses of cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott) grown in Ethiopia

Eyasu Wada
  • Eyasu Wada
  • Department of Microbial, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, P. O. Box 1176, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Zemede Asfaw
  • Zemede Asfaw
  • Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, P. O. Box 1176, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Tileye Feyissa
  • Tileye Feyissa
  • Institute of Biotechnology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, P. O. Box 1176, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Kassahun Tesfaye
  • Kassahun Tesfaye
  • Institute of Biotechnology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, P. O. Box 1176, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 20 May 2017
  •  Accepted: 14 June 2017
  •  Published: 31 August 2017

Abstract

Cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott) is one of the tuberous root crops in the Araceae family that has been grown in Ethiopia. It has spread widely and has become an important part of the agriculture and food systems of indigenous communities in southern and southwestern Ethiopia. However, less research attention has been given to cocoyam. It is a neglected/underutilized or ignored crop.  A survey was conducted to assess the state of cocoyam in Ethiopia based on the farmers’ perception. A purposive sampling technique was used to select 50 farmers from five zones. During the survey, two distinct cocoyam landraces (green and purple leaf colored cocoyam landraces) were observed. Numerous local names were given to the crop; the most commonly encountered names were “Keni Zhang”, “Cubi Zhang”, “Sudan Kido” and “Samuna Boina”. The naming systems were, in most cases, followed by the local name given to taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott), as seen in the cases of “Zhang” and “Boina”. The local term “Godere” or taro was also used for both X. sagittifolium and C. esculenta. Cocoyam is locally used for food (100%), fodder (60%) and other purposes such as medicine and organic fertilizer. Farmers use the local method in the preparation of cormels for food and medicine. Corms were preferred planting materials for Ethiopian farmers. The farmers’ preference to cocoyam was related to adaptability, edibility of its young leaves and it serving as food security crop whereas hardness texture, low market demand, sour taste and unpleasant smell of cocoyam were farmers disliked traits. In this study, useful knowledge about cocoyam in Ethiopia was demonstrated. The quality and productivity of cocoyam in Ethiopia need to be improved based on farmer preferred attributes to ensure dissemination of the useful aspects and enhance sustainable production of cocoyam in Ethiopia.

 

Key words: Cocoyam, Ethiopia, indigenous knowledge.