Injerama: A Unifying Concept for Health, Environmental and Economic Progress in Ethiopia

Injerama is conceived as a public-private partnership to address the Millennium Development Goals in Ethiopia through social entrepreneurship. Agriculture is the most important sector of Ethiopia’s economy directly supporting 85% of the population, contributing 50% of GDP, and generating 88% of export earnings, and while Ethiopia has given top priority to this sector it remains one of the ten most impoverished nations with much of the population food insecure. Injera, a spongy sourdough flat bread traditionally made from t’ef is the staple of every Ethiopian meal and usually cooked over an open fire.  The forest cover of Ethiopia has declined dramatically and rapidly (reduced to 2%) due to a lack of alternative energy sources for cooking food. A leading cause of death in developing countries, including Ethiopia, is indoor air pollution from open fires.

Injera production will be commercialized using sustainable energy sources. The cost of injera will be reduced while the nutritional quality will be improved.  In so doing, this project also addresses deforestation (environmental sustainability) and the health of women and children by eliminating the need to use wood for fuel to cook injera.

For more information, contact Gregory Zeigler at grz1@psu.edu

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