ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia continues to thrive in agricultural trade as the country earned more than US$250M from oilseeds and grains export in the past seven months, the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration has disclosed.
Oilseeds are the third most important export item in Ethiopian foreign trade with three major oilseed crops (sesame, soybean, and niger seed) contributing to nearly 20% of Ethiopia’s total agricultural export earnings, according to Ethiopia Oilseed Annual Report.
The success can be drawn from the recent move by the government of Ethiopia in exerting efforts to promote the agricultural sector in a bid to increase productivity and strengthen food security.
According to Mesfin Abebe, Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration Advisor, in the last seven months, sesame accounted for 92 percent of the exported oilseeds and it is the largest in terms of the obtained revenue, followed by niger and castor bean.
Expounding on the same, the adviser said that 65.179 tons of sesame were exported earning the country US$110.8 million. It was followed by Niger at 5,337 metric tons earning US$7.3 million while castor oil seeds came third at 2, 406 metric tons for US42 million.
In the grains and pulses sector, the country exported 165,062 metric tons which cumulatively earned the country US$133 million.
Soybeans accounted for the largest share in pulses and grains where, 49, 847 tons were exported contributing to US$35 million.
The adviser further said that the ministry is working on expanding market destinations for the export products, according to the advisor.
It is also preparing platforms for exporters and buyers to meet by promoting products in various international exhibitions, he added.
In addition to oilseeds’ success, early this year, Ethiopia achieved self-sufficiency in wheat and further launched a national wheat export launch program.
Further, the country received a 2.5 Million Birr (US$ 50,000) donation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to support the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in an initiative to incorporate wheat into the contemporary trading system.