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Hello to all
I am following the discussions in some newsgroups...
and this message was very interesting to read for me as somebody with a limited knowledge but great love on sustainable farming.
I hope you will get some interesting points out of it
or know somebody to forward this, so that eventually somebody could send a message about what could be done to sustainable improve
the described actual ethiopian situation.
Just before this posting i saw an article in another egroup written
by a brasilian scientist somehow questioning the european resistance
to genetic modified plants...
so i got the strong feeling that we in the so called first world have
to activly show the so called third world sustainable ways so
that they do not follow the cash addictioned multinational companies with their "help feeding the dying african children with genetic modified plants" propaganda.
The following message was coming from email@example.com and sent
They do not know that i posted this here. I hope they would welcome it.
WORLD ETHIC FORUM SUPPORT GROUP
*** to network within the global sustainability scene ***
to show diversity in unity to the world citiziens ***
from firstname.lastname@example.org :
As I am new to your group I would like to touch upon many points
you have already discussed just to put some insights
to your already develped discussion.
As you know Ethiopia is an ancient country with its own intact culture. Among these cultures the staple food of Ethiopia which is known as Teff in local language but Eragrostes teff, in science draws much of my attention. Teff is a grass which bears very small seeds that can not be picked single. It is the main food food of both urban and rural population. Let me starte how it is produced, processed and be finally eaten. I try to make it short.
At the beginning of the main rain season, in May, farmers start
the first round of farming that exposes, partially the
soil. Since farming is by two oxen tied under a single yolk, it takes
perhaps more than two months to finish this round. The next round
starts in July and tends to make the soil more loamy to prepare to
the final hand and axe assisted digging. In such a way the same farm is
farmed at least three times and not less. During the final farming,
ladies are the main workers as only men are known to engage in
Between July and August, seral cattles are made to walk on the
farm to make the soil as tight as possible. This makes the
samll seeds to remain on the top. Otherwise the seeds can not
push out the soil and germinate.
For some time the farmer will be at rest, but after few weeks it
should be throughly made free of any weed. Around the month of
November-December, Teff harvesting comes. This is the most
tiresome one since it requires bowing down and harvesting
the small short grasses. In the evening farmers get sever
back-eche as a result and one may not find a farmer with no back-eche during this season.
School children from the farmers' family have difficulty to go to
school as they should help in harvesting.
It is not final still. Teff should be collected from the fields carefully and gathered at the same place. Before the next rainy
season it should be separated from the straw, by the same
method-driving cattle on it on a specially prepared smooth floor.
That is also a tough work for ladies and children. Then it is
separated from the chaff and collected to a container known as
Gotera. The work after that is entirely for the ladies. The samll seed
should be grinded on a special stone by ladies or taken to the mill (if
available but usually far to take from the rural area). The flour is
then fermented for at least a day and a chapati like wide, very thin,
called Injera is made.
It is served with different kinds of sauce, among which chicken
sause is the best. This chicken sauce is called Doro wat. I like it!
Teff has the capacity to fill stomach but make thinner and I even
thought to introduce as a diet food to avoid obesity. A person can eat as much as he likes but does not get fat.
If one analyses the entire process it is a killing one. All is
done manully. Ecologically this cereal is devastitating killing the
soil becuase the soil is made tight and devoid of
areation. It also requires a vast area of land.
My explantion is that there is no machine involved or no one wanted
to help the Ethiopian farmer. Very little is done.
Tractors and combine harvestors will make this all work very simple and
one tractor will do for perhaps 20 farmers in few days what they do in the entire year.
If there is a resource faremrs could be educated how to use it and
be united to purchase in common. An organization is lacking that
helps them unite, educate, show them practiccally and change the entire
nation in the future. What do you think of this idea?
Yours sincerly, Habte J. Debella
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