The grass pea or chickling vetch (Lathyrus sativus)

(Lathyrus sativus, Ethiopian Highlands, photo: Dr. Ann Butler, Inst. Archaeology, London)

Fact Sheet on Lathyrus sativus (Centre for New Crops, Purdue University, USA)

L. sativus cv. Gompper Speiseerbse

Grass pea processing in the Ethiopian highlands

Since 1997 food shortages in the Ethiopia Highlands have forced people to increase their consumption of grass pea. This increases their risk of becoming affected by the crippling disease, lathyrism, especially if the grain is consumed without adequate processing.

For the current (1998) situation in Ethiopia see the report by Joachim D. Ahrens, Senior Field Officer, UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (EUE)

Last update 12.10.1998

Return to Lathyrus page