The Fifth Annual International Conference on Pulses, Oil Seeds and Spices kicked off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at Sheraton Addis, on November 18, 2015.
The Conference is aimed at strengthening the business link in the sector serving as a spring board for the expansion of international trade and investment as well as sharing experiences.
At the opening of the Conference, Ethiopian President, Dr. Mulatu Teshome, said: “The pulses, oil seeds and spices sector is one of the largest components of Ethiopia’s agricultural sector and could immensely contribute to Ethiopia’s economic growth, second only to that of coffee. Ethiopia currently produces over 400,000 metric tons of chickpea annually and is one of the top ten largest chickpea and sesame seeds producer in the world.”
He said five million Ethiopian smallholder farmers established their livelihood on the production of seeds and pulses, specifically on sesame and chickpea. Thus, Ethiopia needs to develop these value chains from low to high productivity by increasing yield, processing and exporting.
The President further stated that Ethiopia needs sustainable world market growth proportionate to its economic growth.
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade State Minister, Ayana Zewude, said: “Our achievement in the pulses and oil seeds sub sector is no less dramatic. Our export in pluses and oil seeds has registered an average growth of 16 per cent. The export growth was achieved through increased production , better quality and market diversification.”
He went on to note the importance of expanding and diversifying the sector’s market linkages to match the unprecedented supply side growth.
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