ADDIS ABABA -Farmers and Wolayeta Sodo Zone Agriculture Office stressed that the increasing Enset plant diseases have seriously affected the ongoing food self-sufficiency in the Zone.
A farmer and Enset plant producer around Wolayeta Sodo town Kebede Datta told The Ethiopian Herald that the Enset plant is the 'life' of the community and means of self-reliance for many as a lot of farmers have been utilizing it for various purposes. Such a situation inherited from their forefathers and foremothers who had been well preserving the plant as a human being.
According to Kebede, if one doesn't have Enset plant (Ensete ventricosum) or false banana in their farmlands or backyards, it is believed that a farmer is walking naked. Therefore, a farmer living without Enset is regarded as a lazy one presumed to be incapable to lead a family.
He added that 'Catemiya' and 'Hanchacha' are unique types of the plant as they grow shortly, three months to be consumed. However, many residents have been exposed to food scarcity as the plant has been affected due to bacteria prevalence.
Agriculture Office Head Hailemichael Girma on his part said that Enset and the community are two sides of a coin; one could hardly live without the other. However, the plant is seriously affected by and exposed to different problems.
According to the Head, growing other massive plants within limited plots of land might baffle the Enset and get a number of community members at risk. In this regard, the Office has been working in collaboration with stakeholders to raise public awareness to help the plant recovered as it previously was. Apart from this, the Office has been deployed over 140 crop experts in 19 localities comprising different sectors in order to help the community be self-sufficient in the town.