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Common names 

Tef, teff, Williams lovegrass, Abyssinian lovegrass, annual bunch grass [English]; teff, tef [French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian]; mtefi [Swahili]; ጤፍ [Amharic]; 苔麸 [Chinese]; בן-חילף טף [Hebrew]; テフ [Japanese]; Теф, Тефф [Russian]


Tef (Eragrostis tef (Zuccagni) Trotter) is a dual purpose cereal, valued for both grain and forage production in dry areas with a short rainy season. Tef grain is a staple food in Ethiopia and tef straw, the main by-product of tef grain production, is a basal component of livestock diets in this country. Since the late 1990s, the recognition of tef as a gluten-free cereal of good nutritional value has resulted in new found interest, particularly in industrialised countries (Baye, 2015). Both tef grain and tef straw are described in separate datasheets.

Tef is one of the fastest growing hay crops known, valued for its high yields and high quality. It is considered an emergency forage in drought prone areas (Miller, 2010FAO, 2016). The use of tef for forage began in the late 19th century in South Africa during the Boer War, where it was used to feed horses and oxen (NRC, 1996). Today, while rarely grown specifically for forage in Ethiopia, tef is cultivated for hay in other countries, notably South Africa, Australia and the USA (Baye, 2015).