Diversity and Cultural Use of Enset (<i>Enset ventricosum</i> (Welw.) Cheesman) in Bonga in-situ Conservation Site, Ethiopia
AbstractEnset plant diversity and maintenance were investigated through interviews, quantitative and qualitative plant morphological analysis, nutritional analysis and field observations. Forty-two enset varieties were identified and grouped into 6 clusters, where the wild variety was an outlier. Principal components analysis also revealed the distinctiveness of the enset varieties. The study showed that, farmers in the Kaffa zone maintain many varieties along with associated myths, beliefs, songs/poems, and medicinal and ritual significance. A multidimensional preference analysis suggested the existence of a reasonable degree of consistency among farmers in naming the varieties and utilization aspects. Diversity within and between enset varieties was found to be high, and ‘perceptual distinctiveness’ of enset varieties of which farmers were minutely cognizant was significant in the recognition of variation and therefore plays a role in selection and maintenance of the existing diversity.
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