In a similar vein to coffee, sesame will go through reforms in an attempt to improve sales.
Recently the government sat down with investors and came up with recommendations to improve coffee production. Now over the past few weeks solutions are being worked over to improve sesame exports through the Prime Minister’s Office and the private sector.
They looked at challenges sesame faces in the market including that other African countries have improved their quality and production volume. This has led to global price reductions of sesame while at the same time the cost of sesame on the trading floor of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, is much higher than the international market because it has been costing more to produce.
Like coffee Ethiopia is one of the largest sesame producers in Africa, fourth in the world behind India, China and Myanmar. It also brings in a lot of hard currency.
It is expected that further discussions will be held at the PM’s office during the coming week and that they will be chaired by Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), advisor to the Prime Minister and head of the economic planning improvement at the PM office.
Some possible improvements include more government attention, collaborating with stakeholders, and improving access to finance to encourage more farmers to grow the crop.
Just as with coffee improving the marketing process at ECX is another area to be looked into.
The draft document which identified problems and solutions for sesame seed production and marketing was discussed with Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association (EPOSPEA) members a week ago. They came up with new ideas and took them to the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Trade and EPOSPEA to help draft a reform, according to sources.