Geo 509 - Major Paper

2854 WordsNov 2, 201212 Pages
Introduction The purpose of this report is to analyze and illustrate the geographical origins of eragrostis tef along with details of its global dispersion. The common name of the crop in Ethiopia is tef. It was chosen for its cultural significance and it’s importance Background In Ethiopia, about 4.9 million acres of land is devoted to its production every year. From 2003-2005 production statistics indicated that tef accounted for about 29% of the land and 20% of the gross grain production of all major cereal cultivation in the country (National Research Council). Eragrostis tef belongs to the grass family Poaceae, and is species of Eragrostis. It contains about 350 species and tef is the only…show more content…
The use of tef was quite crucial for the Abyssinians, since the amount of tef seed required to plant were hundreds of times smaller than that of wheat (Ingram). This productive potential and minimal time and seed requirements have protected them from hunger when their food supply was under attack from numerous invaders in the past. It was reported by Unger in 1866 that tef seeds were also found in the Egyptian Pyramid of Dashur in 3359 BC (National Research Council). Dried tef straws were suggested to have been used in the making of mud bricks used in the Pyramid of Dashur as well (Seyfu). The closest wild relative to tef is generally considered to be eragrostis pilosa this species is recorded as an annual growing weed from Eritrea and Northern regions of Ethiopia (Ingram). Vavilov has recognized Ethiopia as the center of origin and variety of tef (National Research Council). Due to the fact that several widespread and non-widespread species of eragrostis, some of which are considered the wild relatives of tef, are found in Ethiopia. Since the genetic diversity for tef does not exist anywhere else in the world except in Ethiopia, confirms that tef originated and was

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