Ethiopia’s unique bio-diversities and diverse agro-ecology make it one of the centers of distinct sesame production, standing 4th globally and 2nd in world export market. Ethiopian sesame is renowned for its high oil content, rich and nutty flavor. The Humera type is a high demand product for its especially whitish color, seed size and aroma. While the Wellega type is highly sought for its oil content.
Sesame mainly grows in the Tigray, Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia. SNNPR is also becoming an area of attraction for investors because it produces sesame that meets international standards. In 2011/12, 893,883 small holder farmers actively participated in producing 244,784 MT of sesame from 337,505 hectares of land (CSA). In addition to raw sesame exports, which constitute the largest share of Ethiopian exports, value added products like Hulled Sesame and Tahini are entering niche markets in Europe, Japan and the US.
AGP Sesame Activities
AGP-AMDe‘s vision for the sesame value chain is to expand quality production to increase Ethiopia‘s share in international markets. AMDe is operational in 11 sesame producing Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) Woredas in Tigray, Amhara and Oromia Regional States of Ethiopia and the core activities in these Woredas include:
Enhancing productivity of farmers through provision of training in management, finance, audit, business planning and marketing to farmers’ cooperative union management team members. Similarly, capacity building support in good agricultural practices including seed selection, proper land preparation and weeding, timely harvesting and trashing as well as post-harvest handling and quality control is provided to small holder farmers.
Technology transfer support by working in collaboration with research institutes in the production, multiplication and dissemination of improved Sesame seed varieties like Setit 1 and Humera 1 and acquisition of non-shattering varieties, farm machineries for row planting, cultivating and harvesting.
Enabling access to finance for infrastructure support through the provision of grants. AMDe has constructed and delivered 4 warehouses of 5,000mt capacity each to date on a cost share basis to four Farmers’ Cooperative Unions (FCUs). These ware houses and the cleaning machine will enable the FCUs to purchase and stock more sesame from their member SHF and PCs and prepare and dispatch, on time as per the quality standard for the international market.