Ministry of Trade discloses that a plan is set to secure over 1.1 billion USD in the 2017/18 fiscal year from commodities under its supervision.
In an interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Ministry’s Pulses Marketing Team Leader Mesfin Abebe says the target has shown 8.4 percent decline from last year same period.
The Team Leader notes that while plan is set to get 400.5 million USD from oilseeds in the 2017/18 fiscal year, the country has aimed at generating 327.5 million USD from khat in the stated period.
Mesfin states that Ministry of Trade is working closely with various stakeholders including Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Agricultural Transformation Agency to enhance the product and productivity of agricultural commodities thereby increase the export volume.
He says: “Particular attention has given to enable export commodities meet international quality standards and address quality and supply gaps that hamper country’s competitiveness in global agricultural markets and caused income inconsistence.’’
Furthermore, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange/ ECX/, under the close follow up of Ministry of Trade, has been playing a pivotal role in modernizing country’s agricultural commodities trading system thereby increasing amount of outputs, including sesame’s export volume, the Team Leader elaborates.
According to Mesfin, the volume of sesame traded in the ECX trading floor is growing time to time since 2011, when the commodity trading has started. ECX is also helpful to country’s plan of maximizing foreign currency earnings by supplying quality sesame abundantly to the global market.
He notes that the market system before the establishment of ECX was problematic in terms of exporting quality agricultural outputs with the desired quantity and benefiting farmers.
Mesfin states that consultative forums have been held with state governments, farmers’ cooperatives and other stakeholders to assess export performance, address shortcomings and strengthen achievements.
He says: “The forums have been beneficial in identifying quality, infrastructure and post-harvest related challenges that embed the country from benefiting its huge potential for agricultural exports.”
Mesfin indicates that Ministry of Trade is providing technical support and capacity building trainings for exporters and enhancing the market chain among farmers, cooperatives and the ECX.
Furthermore, the Ministry is partnering with Ethiopian missions abroad to promote country’s agricultural commodities in their respective countries and seek markets for its exports, the Team Leader notes.
Oilseeds, pulses, cereals, khat, natural gums, and eucalyptus trees are commodities that have been followed by Ministry of Trade.
BY BILAL DERSO