Traditional use and classification systems of cactus pear (opuntia ficus indica) in Gantafeshum woreda Eastern Tigray Northern Ethiopia

Misgna Mulu


Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica), is the most popular fresh fruit used by the local people during the rainy season in Ganta Afeshum woreda, Eastern Tigray Northern Ethiopia. The present study was designed to investigate and document the Traditional use and classification system of opuntia ficus indica in the woreda. The study was conducted from January 2013 to December 2014 using both primary and secondary data. Data was collected from 60 sample respondent farmers of three purposively selected Kebeles by field observation, structured and semi structured interviews and questionnaires. Descriptive type of research was applied to analyze the attained data. The result of this study revealed that 14 categories of cactus pear are available based on the traditional classification system of the local people in the study area. Five traditional devices are commonly used by the local users to manage cactus pear. The main hazards to opuntia ficus indica in the woreda are herbivores, termites, and snowfall. The possible side effects while using opuntia ficus indica are constipation in children, spines and glochids in all users. The local people use cactus pear for food, forage, fuel wood, income source, fence, and erosion protection. Even if the local people are using their own traditional use and classification system, modern and study based improvements are required for better usage and sustainable productivity. Therefore, this paper suggests that researchers should give more attention to improve the varieties, the use and also the equipments used for this socially friendly plant.

Keywords: Cactus pear, traditional classification, Traditional use


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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