The country has earned about 307.5 million dollars from the export of sesame in the past fiscal year- the lowest in five years. Hoping there will be no further decline, the Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources (MoANR) plans to uplift the revenue from the export of sesame by 16pc in the current fiscal year.
Most of the problems occurred during the harvest of the seeds, according to Tesfaye Mengiste, state minister of MoANR. The process is labour intensive and the method of harvesting should be improved to prevent wastage. Seasonal health problems such as malaria, which affect majority of the labour force during the harvesting season contribute significantly to the low productivity of sesame.
Last year, the country exported 280,473tns of sesame to the international market; this is expected to increase by 20pc and reach 336,742tns this fiscal year, according to the Ministry.
At present, the Ministry is working to reform the sesame market as it did with coffee. The reform is expected to reduce the involvement of Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) in the market.