The Gedeo indigenous agro-forestry system
The Gedeo indigenous agro-forestry system or home garden represents one of the oldest traditionally intensified farming in Ethiopia. The teachings of forefathers on the need to protect and maintain trees in and around the farms have led to the development of a multispecies home garden in and around Gedeo. The feature of home garden is entirely based on indigenous knowledge and contained the ever rising economic and ecological needs. Meticulous species selection improved carrying capacity of the people.
In addition, it introduced crop species such as enset, avocado, mango and banana which are resistant to drought. No threat of soil erosion and fertility. The soil is productive and weedy vegetation which play a vital role in nutrition. The farmers have a well founded knowledge to manage each component of the system.
Gedeo is a land of green through their Afro-forestry including enset, coffee and other trees. Enset and coffee constitute the highest priority coming many of other agricultural products. Land in Gedeo is also largely covered by various fruits, root plants and big trees. Agro-forestry is Gedeo’s unique value of bio-diversity conservation that has been transmitted for generations. Improper use of land is always cursed and lead to social alienation. Tolea ritual is the most respected place to perform ritual by 12 song leaders and inhabitants of jimjams kebele. Touche ritual is performed by the people during the difficult times of pandemic disease, crop failure, disease on enset and coffee, occurred in the area. The Gedeo light the ritual torch in order to chase out the evil from their land. Gedeo’s indigenous agro-forestry system is nominated by the ARCCH to be registered in the world heritage list.
Source: Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage