False Banana (Enset)

Mixed Enset farm

False banana is way better than its name as millions of tribal people in southern Ethiopia depend on it, it is called false banana because it resembles to banana plant but it doesn’t produce banana fruit. Both the enset and the banana tree belong to the family Musaceae.

 

Woman decorticates pseudostem using a bamboo scraperEnset ventricosum( false banana) is endemic to south part of Ethiopia farmed in mixed system along with grain crop and coffee , it is the most reliable source of staple food than any other crope in the area

 

Bread, porridge, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks can be made up of it, apart from source of food it provides fiber for making ropes, mats, bags and sack. It also produce medicine which helps wounds and breaks to heal faster.

 

 

 

 

Harvesting and processing

 

  • At harvest, leaves and older leaf sheaths are first removed from the designated plants, thenfermented Kocho from pit peel and cut the concave side of the leaf seath length wise in to workable size

 

  • Then the leafsheath is decorticated using a locally made bamboo scraper while the leafsheath is held on an incline (at 45 to 80 degrees from the ground) against a wooden plank . In some groups, women may sit on the ground (often on enset leaves) and use one leg to hold the leafsheaths in place, while collecting the white juice below which will be sieved and evaporated by spreading on freash enset leave to form thick past ( kocho or kincho)

hopped enset in pit lined with enset

 

  • The knowledgeable women among the house hold prepare the yeast starter or fermentation infusion in advance from already fermented kocho and herbs, mix with kocho,

 

  • when the kocho is prepared, the men dig hole about 3 meters deep and 2 meters in diameters filling the bottom with stone for drainage. The kocho treated with yeast is buried in the hole paked with enset leaves and heavy stone on the tope to force water out.Kocho bread

 

 

  • kocho will be ready in one month, floury oval cake is formed and cooked as desired. Bread, porridge and alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are some of them

 

 

 

 

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