Species name
Amorphophallus gallaensis (Engl.) N.E. Br. & Arisaema sp. 


Local name(s)
Bagana (Konsogna), Qolto (Amhargna) 

General description
Bagana (in Konsogna) is a corm plant of which three varieties are used based on the color of stalk, shape and configuration of the leaves: the 'normal' Bagana, the 'litoota' (some call it also 'panshala') that has been identified an Arisaema variety (falvum?) and the 'romitta' variety, which most likely is A. gallaensis. All are growing in farm fields. The 'litoota' variety (see picture below) is the one with wider and flat leaves as compared to the 'romitta' variety, which is with more serrated and narrow leaves. The 'romitta' variety, mostly available in March and April, has reddish stalk and big tubers. 

Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
The tubers of Bagana are edible. The 'litoota' is preferred to the 'romitta' variety because it has a relatively acceptable taste. But on the other hand the 'romitta' variety can be prepared within short time and is furthermore less perishable, hence can be stored for a longer period of time. Before further preparation the plant has to be crushed and dried in the sun. The dried parts are then ground to powder. Finally the powder is mixed with water and cooked like maize for approximately 30 minutes. This process may take several days of preparation before Bagana litoota is ready for consumption. In normal times farmers collect the tubers while undertaking weeding and cultivation activities on their farms and preserve the tubers for food shortage periods, which frequently occur before harvest time when all the food from the previous harvest has been consumed. When consumed raw, the tubers have an irritating taste.

Nutritional value
Roots and tubers are an important source of carbohydrates. The tuber contains up to 85% carbohydrates (the value is given on dry bases).

Bagana species grow well in dry mid- and lowlands and of Derashe and Konso Special woredas. They are all herb weeds growing wild and semi-domesticated in farm fields.

Propagation method(s) 
Propagates by tubers and vegetative

Sample location(s)
Dokatu Kebele, Konso

Although considered as a typical famine food, it may be worthwhile to think about Bagana species as a potential plant for further in-depth investigations and research to be fully domesticated and cultivated as an adopted indigenous tuber species. Instead of trying to disseminate cassava and other exotic tuber plants to farmers in Ethiopia.


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Konso Farmer in Dhokatu Kebele, Konso Special Woreda, presenting a young A.galllaensis and its edible tubers (beside the plant to the right), that grows on his farm field.