Equatorial Business Group PLC

ኢኳቶሪያል ቢዝነስ ግሩፕ ኃ.የተ.የግ.ማ


Oil Seeds and Pulses Export


There are about 146 crop types in Ethiopia and Oilseeds are among the major ones. Sesame, Soybean and Niger seed dominate largely the oil seeds category.

Ethiopia’s oilseed sector plays an important role in generating foreign exchange earnings.  The three major oilseed crops (sesame, soybean, and niger seed) contribute to nearly 20% of Ethiopia’s total agricultural export earnings, second only to coffee. In  2019/20 exports of sesame, Niger seed, and soybeans generated nearly $430 million in export earnings. In addition, the oilseed sector provides income to millions of growers and others market actors along the value chain.

Niger Seed is Oil Crop of Ethiopia origin like Coffee. Ethiopia is one of the centers of biodiversity for several Oilseeds which can be considered as specialty high value seeds on the international market. The country is known for its high quality organic product of different types of oil seeds. Among these sesame seeds, Niger seeds, Lin seed and sunflower seed are the major ones.

Sesame is the second highest foreign currency earner for Ethiopia after Coffee. Ethiopian whitish Humerra sesame seed is the world leading brand for its high quality. It is produced in the fertile low land of north western parts of the country. The other major brand next to Humera sesame is whitish Wollega Sesame Seed which is produced in the south western parts of the country.

Ethiopia is one of the leading sesame seed producer and exporter countries in the world. While China and India are the top consumers of sesame seed, Ethiopia exports almost all of its products to the rest of the world.

Export Trends: Key export oilseeds in Ethiopia are sesame seeds, Niger seeds, and soybeans. The production and export of these three products increased over the last decade encouraged by an increasing local price. All of the three oilseed products are traded at ECX.  The total production of oilseeds is expected to be about 840,000 metric tons.   Sesame seed export represents 67% of the oilseeds export. Sesame is the most important export cash crop in Ethiopia.   The Ministry of Trade indicated that the 2020 performance is much better than in 2019. Ethiopia’s sesame seed export valued USD 343 million.