Tag Archives: sesame

Ethiopia’s sesame seed trade with China – a partnership of equals?

10 Jul
Eastern promise … the Chinese-built African Union building is a visible symbol of Ethiopia-China relations. Photograph: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS/EPA

Eastern promise … the Chinese-built African Union building is a visible symbol of Ethiopia-China relations. Photograph: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS/EPA

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory

Ethiopia uses sesame seeds to repay loans on Chinese-built infrastructure. But what are the long-term benefits to farmers?

Eastern promise … the Chinese-built African Union building is a visible symbol of Ethiopia-China relations. Photograph: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS/EPA
It seems unlikely that many Ethiopian farmers sat down and thought about what Chinese consumers want to eat for breakfast before planting their crops. Yet a surge in the eastward export of sesame seed over the past decade has created an unexpected interdependency between the two countries.

In less than a decade, Ethiopia has jumped from being a minor producer of sesame (38,000 tonnes in 2002, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation) to the largest producer in Africa and fourth largest in the world (320,000 tonnes in 2011, according to the most recent data available). During the same period, China has switched from being a net exporter to a net importer, providing the main destination for Ethiopia’s sesame seeds.

Read the full article from The Guardian

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