Identification and Analysis of Nutritional Components of Enset (Ensete ventricosum) Landraces Suitable for Corm Production in Southern Ethiopia


  • Admassu Tsegaye


Em'ete vel1lricosum, landraces, corm, nutritional quality


Enset (Ensete ventricosum) produces a nutritious human food from its vigorous
pseudoslem, corm and the stalk of inflorescence. Among the many different food made
from Enset is 'Amicho', which is a stripped corm of a younger plant of Enset, boiled and
conSllmed in a way similar to Irish potato, sweet potato and cassava. Participatory
Rural Appraisal (PIU) and formal survey were conducled in two weredas, olle from
each of two densely populated Ensef growing zones (namely Sidama and Hadiya
zones in the SOl/thern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia) to
collect Enset landraces suitable for edible corm production and assess their nutrient
contents. Eleven Eilsetlandraces suitablefor edible corm productioll were idemijied and
planted at Hawassa University experimental field for jilrlher investigation. The result of
nutritional analysis showed a marked signijicam variability in fhe nutritional
composition of the corms; this made the selection of nutritionally·rich Enset landraces
possible. Large differences in protein content (0.90 to 2.39%), crude fibre (0.83 to 1.1%),
carbohydrates (27.3 to 39.4), Fe (1.1 to 4.3 mg/IOO gm), Zn (6.2 to 15.6 mgllOO gm)
and Beta carotene (1.5 to 22.2 j.JgIIOO gm) were recorded. 'Agade: 'Askala', and
'Gossalo' landraces had the highest protein, carbohydrates and Beta·carotene contents,
respectively. 'Made' contained fhe highest cn/de fibre, Fe and Zn contents. The average
protein contem (1.4%) of corms of the Ensetlandraces was comparable to the average
protein content of most root and tuber crops; whereas, fhe average Fe and Zn contents of
corms of the Enset landraces lI'ere higher than the values' reported for most root and
tuber crops. 'l7le average energy and dry matter production rates of corms of the Enset
landraces were about 124% and 169% higher, respectively than the average valliesfor
rOOf and tuber crops. While EIISet is conventionally perceived as having relatively low
nutritional content )vhen compared with other root and tuber crops, the present study
provides evidence that, contrary to popular perception, there are excelling nutritional
values of corms of the EIISet landracesfor humans.