Bula Sirika Wayessa

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Grant number

Gr. 9980

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Wayessa, Bula (Independent Scholar) "A comparative study of teff and maize cultivation in the Gimbi region of Ethiopia"

This project explores the impact of the introduction of American maize into southwestern Ethiopian farming systems once dominated by teff, an indigenous cereal important to the region’s bread-based cuisine. Although maize was introduced to the region in the 17th century, it was not adopted until the mid-20th century. Recently, a significant number of farmers have shifted to maize cultivation despite the traditionally dominant position of teff. Maize has transformed traditional farming practices and influenced pre-existing food processing technologies. Another new development is the rise of status-related categories of bread in which teff-based bread is consumed by the higher social classes, while maize-based bread consumption is more common among the lower classes. The results of this study address fundamental questions of maize’s delayed adoption into farming systems in the study area and information on the social, dietary, material, and economic impact of maize in the Gimbi area.