State Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources Wondirad Mandefro noted on Monday (October 17) that the government is ready to introduce Ethiopia's important food crop -- Enset into the gastronomic world and showcase Enset's useful attributes at the global dining table as one of the major features of the country's rich culinary culture.
The State Minister, speaking at an International Enset Policy and Research Conference in Addis Abeba indicated that Enset is "a multipurpose crop which provides a range of services including food, forage, medicine, rituals, construction and also environment protection." Sadly, Enset like other African indigenous crops has not captured the attention of the wider scientific research community to benefit from the network of the global knowledge pool," he said. Besides, he went on to say that no study has been conducted in the developed world to "enable us to address production constraints and develop varieties with superior features. Therefore, it has been labeled as one of the 'orphan commodities."
It is in this regard that the government is keen to create a platform for a multi-disciplinary approach to tap the potentials of Enset - known scientifically as Ensete Ventricosum, added the State Minister. The state Minister expressed his hope that the workshop would lay a solid foundation to explore"the current research trends, gaps and future direction for a co-ordinated, multi-disciplinary approach on Enset.
The President of the Addis Ababa University (AAU), Dr. Admasu Tsegaye, on his part noted that Enset is one of the oldest cultivated plants in Ethiopia and it provides good quality fiber, and all parts, except its roots can be used for livestock feed adding that the crop was widely used in the south, west and central parts of the country. Enset, being a member of the banana family sometimes referred to as "false banana", is one of the important indigenous food crops of Ethiopia.