Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 573–585 | Cite as

Analysis of korarima (Aframomum corrorima (Braun) P.C.M. Jansen) indigenous production practices and farm based biodiversity in southern Ethiopia

Research Article


Korarima (Aframomum corrorima (Braun) P.C.M. Jansen) production is declining mainly due to destruction of the plant’s natural habitat. A survey was conducted in the three major korarima growing administrative zones, Gamo Gofa, Debub Omo and Kaffa in southern Ethiopia to assess indigenous production practices, wealth status, farm based biodiversity and household characteristics using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and semi-structured questionnaires. The wealth is unevenly distributed among households and not significantly different for korarima growers and non-korarima growers. Farmers acknowledged that shortage of shade trees; low yield and lack of improved varieties had contributed to decrease in production area (PA). A total of three distinct named korarima landraces were recorded, with a range from one to three on individual farms implying low farm based biodiversity. More households grew enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman) in Gamo Gofa and Kaffa while maize (Zea mays L.) was grown by nearly all households in Debub Omo. Only a few households grew korarima. Most of the household characteristics significantly affected the PA of korarima. The correlation coefficients indicated that the relationship of household characteristics were significant. Findings of this study suggest that the maintenance of shade trees on the main farm field is the main requirement for korarima production.


Aframomum corrorima Farm based biodiversity Household Indigenous knowledge Korarima Shade tree 



The authors gratefully acknowledge PhD scholarship award of the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen) and research support received from Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) research project in collaboration with Hawassa University, Ethiopia. The authors also thank Professor Åsmund Bjørnstad, UMB for his valuable comments and suggestions during preparation of this manuscript.


  1. Abegaz B, Asfaw N, Lwande W (1994) Chemical constituents of the essential oil of Aframomum corrorima from Ethiopia. SINET Ethiop J Sci 17:145–148Google Scholar
  2. Arora RK (1985) Genetic resources of less known cultivated food plants. NBPGR Sci Monogr 9, India, p 126Google Scholar
  3. Benin S, Smale M, Pender J (2006) Explaining the diversity of cereal crops and varieties grown on household farms in the highlands of Northern Ethiopian. In: Smale M (ed) Valuing crop biodiversity: on-farm genetic resources and economic change. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 78–96Google Scholar
  4. BoPED (2006) Southern Nations, Nationalities’ and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR): agro-climatic profile. Awassa, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  5. Chanyalew Z (1999) The role of spices in the national economy of Ethiopia. Paper presented on the curriculum development workshop for diploma and degree program in horticulture at Jimma College of Agriculture. 6–7 August 1999, Jimma, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  6. Clement CR, McCann JM, Smith NJH (2003) Agrobiodiversity in Amazonia and its relationship with dark earths. In: Lehmann J, Kern DC, Glaser B, Woods WL (eds) Amazonian dark earths: origin, properties, management. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 159–177Google Scholar
  7. Coomes OT, Ban N (2004) Cultivated plant species diversity in home gardens of an Amazonian peasant village in North-Eastern Peru. Econ Bot 58:420–434. doi: 10.1663/0013-0001(2004)058[0420:CPSDIH]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. CSA (2007) Agricultural Sample Survey, 2006/2007 (1999 Ethiopian Calendar), Report on area and production of crops, vol I. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, p 126Google Scholar
  9. EARO (2000) National research strategy for spices, medicinal and other essential oil bearing plants. EARO, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  10. Engels JMM, Hawkes JG, Worede M (eds) (1991) Plant genetic resources of Ethiopia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 383Google Scholar
  11. Eyob S, Appelgren M, Rohloff J, Tsegaye A, Messele G (2007) Chemical composition and physical properties of essential oils from fresh plant parts of korarima (Aframomum corrorima) cultivated in the highland of southern Ethiopia. J Essent Oil Res 19:372–375Google Scholar
  12. Eyob S, Appelgren M, Rohloff J, Tsegaye A, Messele G (2008) Traditional medicinal uses and essential oil composition of leaves and rhizomes of korarima Aframomum corrorima (Braun) P.C.M. Jansen) from southern Ethiopia. S Afr J Bot 74:181–185. doi: 10.1016/j.sajb.2007.10.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gedebo G, Appelgren M, Bjornstad A, Tsegaye A (2007) Analysis of indigenous production methods and farm based biodiversity of amochi (Arisaema schimperianum Schott) in two sub-zones of Southern Ethiopia. Genet Resour Crop Evol 54:1429–1436. doi: 10.1007/s10722-006-9127-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harlan JR (1969) Ethiopia: a center of diversity. Econ Bot 23:309–314Google Scholar
  15. Hoogendijk M, Williams DE (2002) Characterizing the genetic diversity of home garden crops: some examples from the Americas. In: Watson JW, Eyzaguirre PB (eds) Home gardens and in situ conservations of plant genetic resources in faming systems. Proceedings of the second international home gardens workshop, 17–19 July 2001. Witzenhausen, Federal Republic of Germany, IPGRI, Rome, pp 34–40Google Scholar
  16. Jansen PCM (1981) Spices, condiments and medicinal plants in Ethiopia. Their taxonomy and agricultural significance. PhD thesis, Agricultural Research Reports 906. Center for Agricultural Publishing and Documentation, Wageningen, The Netherlands, pp 10–20Google Scholar
  17. Jansen PCM (2002) Aframomum corrorima (Braun) P.C.M. Jansen. Record from protabase. In: Oyen LPA, Lemmens RHMJ (eds) PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa/Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale). Wageningen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  18. Lock JM (1997) Zingiberaceae. In: Edwards S, Demissew S, Hedberg I (eds) Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, vol 6. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Uppsala, Sweden, pp 324–326Google Scholar
  19. Magurran AE (1988) Ecological diversity and its measurements. Croom Helm, London, p 125Google Scholar
  20. Meng ECH, Smale M, Bellon M, Grimanelli D (1998) Definition and measurement of crop diversity for economic analysis. In: Smale M (ed) Farmers, gene banks and crop breeding: economic analysis of diversity in wheat, maize, and rice. Academic Press, Dordrecht, pp 19–32Google Scholar
  21. PFMP (2004) Forest rehabilitation and natural coffee production enhancement and trade. Farm Africa and SOS Sahel International Participatory Forest Management Program, Ethiopia, pp 3–14Google Scholar
  22. Purseglove JW, Brown EJ, Green CL, Robbins SRJ (1981) Spices. Vol 2. Longman Group Ltd. Longman House, Burnt Mill. Harlow, Essex, pp 581–643Google Scholar
  23. Simpson EH (1949) Measurement of diversity. Nature 163:688. doi: 10.1038/163688a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tamiru M, Becker HC, Maass BL (2008) Diversity, distribution and management of yam landraces (Dioscorea spp.) in Southern Ethiopia. Genet Resour Crop Evol 55:115–131. doi: 10.1007/s10722-007-9219-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Taye M, Lommen WJM, Struik PC (2007) Indigenous multiplication and production practices for the tuber crop Plectranthus edulis in Chencha and Wolaita, southern Ethiopia. Exp Agric 43:381–400. doi: 10.1017/S0014479707004954 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Teklu Y, Hammer K (2006) Farmers’perception and genetic erosion of tetraploid wheats landraces in Ethiopia. Genet Resour Crop Evol 53:1099–1113. doi: 10.1007/s10722-005-1145-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tesfaye B, Ludders P (2003) Diversity and distribution patterns of enset landraces in Sidama, Southern Ethiopia. Genet Resour Crop Evol 50:359–371. doi: 10.1023/A:1023918919227 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tsegaye A, Struik PC (2002) Analysis of enset (Ensete ventricosum) indigenous production methods and Farm-based biodiversity in the major enset-growing regions of southern Ethiopia. Exp Agric 38:291–315. doi: 10.1017/S0014479702003046 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vavilov NI, Chester KS (trans) (1951) The origin, variation, immunity and breeding of cultivated plants. Chron Bot 13:1–366Google Scholar
  30. Worede M, Tesemma T, Feyissa R (2000) Keeping diversity alive: an Ethiopian perspective. In: Brush SB (ed) Genes in the field: on-farm conservation of crop diversity. Lewis Publishers, IDRC and IPGRI, Boca Raton, pp 143–161Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesNorwegian University of Life SciencesNorwayEurope
  2. 2.Awassa College of AgricultureHawassa UniversityAwassaEthiopia

Personalised recommendations