Greener Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science Vol. 2 (3), pp. 047-053, May 2014.
ISSN: 2354-2292 © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 112913994
Exploring Indigenous Knowledge and Production Constraints of Taro (Colocasia esculenta L. (SCHOTT)) Cultivars Grown at Dalbo Watershed, Wolaita Zone of South Ethiopia
Yared Dagne1, Tewodros Mulualem*2
1Areka Agriculture Research Center, P.O.Box-79, Areka, Ethiopia.
2Jimma Agriculture Research Center, P.O. Box- 192, Jimma, Ethiopia.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: tewodrosmulualem @ gmail. com
The maintenance and utilization of crop is important to ensure food security. To this effect a survey was conducted at Dalbo Watershed, Soddo district of Wolaita Zone, to describe and analyze the indigenous production methods. The survey was conducted in the selected villages of Dalbo Watershed namely; Dalbo Atwaro and Dalbo Wogene during the months of July, August and September 2006, thirty households from the two villages, among those who own taro crop were selected. A purposive systematic sampling technique is used. Method of data collection included individual interviews using structured questionnaire. Results of the study showed that taro farming at Dalbo Watershed was characterized by smallholdings with average family size of 6.96 people per household, average total farm size of 0.771 ha, and with an average farm size under taro production of 0.42 ha. A total of eight named taro cultivars were recorded on-farm. The number of cultivars maintained on individual farms ranged from one to eight (mean 3.08) and farmers decision regarding land use and number of taro cultivars to plant was influenced by the size of farm land, labour/household size, maturity, yield, taste and palatability of a particular cultivar. Local farmers recognized two categories of taro based on the ‘sex’ of the cultivars: “male” and “female” taro. Female taro mature early, are less vigorous, provide tasty and palatable corms as opposed to male taro. Most of the farmers had grown taro for more than ten years as a backyard crop, both for consumption and sale. Land preparation begins in November and most farmers plant taro in January. Harvesting usually begin ten months after planting, with majority of farmers harvest the yield between December to January. Farmers cited land shortage, shortage of capital, lack of oxen and improved farm implements and few others as the main constraints for taro production in the study area.
Keywords: Farmhouse hold, Indigenous production, taro, watershed.