Ethiopia’s Bank-Secured Sesame Seed-Sales Seen Boosting Exports

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Addis Ababa, December 7 (WIC) - Ethiopia, the world’s fourth-largest sesame grower, may see earnings from exports of pulses, oil seeds and spices rise by a third to more than $900 million this year.   

Africa’s largest coffee producer and second-most populous nation is providing free land for processing and warehouses, as well as waiving related import and export duties, Haile Berhe, president of the 110-member Ethiopian Pulses, Oil Seeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association said.   

“The government is helping exporters through many incentives for each company,” he said in an interview in the capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday. “If the supply side is there, I am sure we can export that amount” in the year through July 7, 2013.   

If the trends continue, Ethiopia may earn $2 billion a year from seeds, spices and pulses by the end of a five-year government growth plan in mid-2015, Haile said. Ethiopia’s government is working to attract foreign investment into agricultural processing to help it diversify an economy that relied on coffee for about a fourth of the $3.2 billion it earned from exports last year.   

Sesame seeds accounted for around $460 million of last year’s revenue of $660 million from oil seeds, pulses and spices, Haile said. Ethiopia is the biggest sesame grower in Africa, and largest after India, Myanmar and China, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association.    (Bloomberg)