INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE OF THE SHEKACHO SOCIETY IN ENSET (ENSETE VENTRICOSUM (WELW.) CHEESMAN) PLANTATION AND MANAGEMENT FROM FIELD TO PLATE
In this study, the indigenous knowledge of the Shekacho society in Enset cultivation and Kocho food production was investigated. Although Enset has several advantages, only limited population of Ethiopians consume the food product mainly due to some uncommon sensory quality parameters and lack of awarness. The Shekacho society introduces the plant “Mandillo” that greatly improves the quality and palatability of Kocho products. To this end, analytical data were collected using semi-closed questionnaire, field observations, interviews and discussion with key informants. Local annotations review and Enset plant physical structure were also measured. Fermentation was carried out by knowledgeable local women. Descriptive analysis of the Enset histories, culture, varieties and uses, showed diversified applications of Enset and the detail knowledge of Shekacho society inherited in Enset cultivation and consumption managements. One hundred fifteen Enset local cultivars were identified and grouped into male and female types. The measurement of the parts of Enset plant in the study area showed maximum size in total height, the pseudo stem circumference and its height, leaf height and volume of underground corm (13.1 m, 2.5 m, and 4 m, 9.1 m and 1 m3, respectively).The effect of adding Mandillo during Enset fermentation resulted in visible physical quality differences of Kocho products. The descriptive analysis of the data and the corresponding results suggested the existence of a high degree of consistency among the respondents.