Traditional knowledge of grain storage was studied on small farms in Ethiopia. Sixteen of sixty landraces of sorghum collected from small farms in Shewa and Welo regions of Ethiopia were identified by the farmers as being stored sorghum landraces. Farmers were interviewed and asked to rate the storability of these stored-sorghum landraces with respect to the major insect pest of the area, the rice weevil. A farmers' index of storability was then calculated for each landrace. The landraces were then assessed for rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.), susceptibility in standardized tests at 70% relative humidity and 27°C. The mean farmers' index for the 16 landraces was found to be inversely related with the susceptibility parameters of F1 emergence (r2=0.80), oviposition (r2 =0.76), weight loss (r2=0.88), and Dobie Index (r2=0.95). It was much less strongly related with the median development period (r2=0.20). The results show that farmer knowledge is an excellent guide to sorghum susceptibility to storage pests.

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Economic Botany
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Teshome, A. (Awegechew), Torrance, J.K. (J. Kenneth), Baum, B. (Bernard), Fahrig, L, Lambert, J.D.H. (John D.H.), & Arnason, J.T. (J. Thor). (1999). Traditional farmers' knowledge of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [Poaceae]) landrace storability in Ethiopia. Economic Botany, 53(1), 69–78.