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Monday, August 6, 2012

This article attempts to show how the historic exchange and market system along with an entrenched social ambivalence of an African people impacts the use of multi-purpose money and modernization. I focus on how individuals have responded to the latter in the middle to late twentieth century. The reaction is then compared with that of people in three other African societies. The conclusion considers how traditional subsistence values have led to an emphasis on social identity rather than mere quantitative value of things and money.

An ethnobotanical study was carried out in Sidama to document and analyze the local system of naming, identification and classification of the cultivated varieties of enset used by farmers. The results revealed much information of biological and cultural value which can aid the botanical and genetic study and improvement of enset. Farmers recognized a total of 119 different infra-specific units of enset. The locally perceived biotas are partitioned into three well-recognized groups, namely sub-variety, variety, and supra-variety. Taxa assigned to the three groups have nomenclatural and ethnobotanical features that mark them as members of a separate group. A description and analysis of the nomenclatural and ethnobotanical features of taxa assigned to each of the three groups is presented with emphasis on the nature of the characters used for identification and grouping. A folk biological classification system of enset consisting of four taxonomic levels is proposed. The study has the potential for furthering our understanding of the ways traditional farming communities in centres of crop diversity perceive and organize biological diversity.

WFP Ethiopia Biweekly Report, 3 August 2012

• A minimum of US$12 million is required in order to continue food distributions for refugees through the end of 2012.
• The release of the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for July-December has been postponed until further notice. The allocations for the sixth round of relief distributions will be determined once the HRD is released.
• WFP-Ethiopia will start delivering food by barge, airdrop and airlift to South Sudan in the coming week.
Food Security Summary
According to Ethiopia's Food Security Outlook (July-December), produced by Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), WFP and USAID, the onset of the 2012 June to September Kiremt rains was largely on time. However, the rains have been erratic and below normal so far. An overall improvement in food access is not expected until the Meher harvest starts in October. The anticipated early cessation of the June to September Kiremt rains will adversely affect the performance of Meher crops, particularly in the eastern Meher crop areas.
The 2012 Belg harvest will start in August after being delayed from June, following the late Belg rains. The harvest is likely to be much below normal and in some areas a complete failure. There are isolated pockets in lowland areas of East and West Hararghe, Arsi, West Arsi, and North Shewa in Oromiya and North Gondar, North Shewa, and North Wello in Amhara where pasture and water availability remains poor. Livestock conditions in these areas remain relatively poor. Water shortages persist in low‐lying areas of East and West Hararghe zones. In Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR), increasing admissions to Outpatient Therapeutic Programs (OTPs) and Stabilization Centers (SCs) continued to be reported in 27 woredas (districts). Areas of particular concern include the major root crop dependent zones of Wolayita, Kembata Tembaro, Gamo Gofa, and Hadiya, Sidama, and the major Belg‐cropping special woredas in Segen zone. Increasing admissions of acutely malnourished children are being reported in the Meher‐dependent areas of Alaba special woreda and Gurague and Silite zones. Increased admissions are likely to continue until the green harvest starts in September.
Gu rains were inadequate in the agropastoral areas in northern Somali Region. In this area, sorghum and other crops are typically planted during the Gu rains for harvest in November and December. However, in Shinnile zone, no rains were received from mid-April to late July, and crops have been wilting.
The food security situation from October to December is expected to improve in the southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas as a result of the anticipated good rains from October to December 2012 caused by the El Niño phenomena. However, need for humanitarian food assistance is expected to remain high as a result of the effects of repeated droughts since 2010.