The purpose of this report is to analyze and illustrate the geographical origins of eragrostis tef along with details of its global dispersion. The common name of the crop in Ethiopia is tef. It was chosen for its cultural significance and it’s importance
In Ethiopia, about 4.9 million acres of land is devoted to its production every year. From 2003-2005 production statistics indicated that tef accounted for about 29% of the land and 20% of the gross grain production of all major cereal cultivation in the country (National Research Council).
Eragrostis tef belongs to the grass family Poaceae, and is species of Eragrostis. It contains about 350 species and tef is the only cultivated cereal (Seyfu).
Its name tef is originated from the Amharic word yate-tef-ah, which means, “lost”. Since the grains are so small they are easily misplaced (Kloman). It is the world’s smallest food grain and is as small as a grain of sand. It also has quite similar traits to other grains such as quinoa and millet.
Tef grows anywhere from 30 to 120 cm in height, with slim stems and long, narrow, smooth leaves. It is a loose or compact panicle. The really small grains are 1.5 mm long, and there are about 2,700 seeds in a gram (Seyfu).
The plant uses a Carbon 4 photosynthesis, which uses light efficiently while having low moisture demands. This gives the plant the ability to stand high heat and bright lighting therefore able to harvest in any unpredictable or difficult climate. Also the plant's resistance to diseases, pests, and heavy soils and it’s inexpensive costs to raise and very quick to produce give it special appeal (Tadele).
Tef tends to thrive under growing condition from elevations that range from sea-level to as high as 2800 meters, and in various temperatures, soil, terrains and rainfall conditions (not where there is too much rainfall though) (Seyfu).
Varieties of Tef * Magna (white)
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