USAID Works to Strengthen Ethiopia’s Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Sector

The Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association hosted industry leaders from around the world at the 4th International Conference in Addis Ababa.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2014 – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), joined with the Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association (EPOSPEA) and other industry leaders and stakeholders as a major sponsor for the Fourth International Pulses, Oilseeds, and Spices conference under the theme, “Global Partnership for Sustainable Market Growth.” Through the conference, EPOSPEA hopes to strengthen and expand existing and new market linkages and outlets so that the sector can optimally contribute to the overall development perspectives of Ethiopia.

The pulses, oilseeds and spices sector is one of the largest components of Ethiopia’s agricultural sector and immensely contributes to the country’s economic growth, second only to that of coffee. Ethiopia produces more than 400,000 metric tons of chickpea annually and is the sixth largest chickpea producer in the world.

Industry leaders, including Huyton Inc. Group, ACOS SPA, China AGLOOK, Precise Consulting and AST Enterprise, presented new perspectives on business opportunities in the global pulses and oilseeds markets and the Ethiopian agro-processing sector. Conference topics included international trade facilitation, and Ethiopian spice supply and demand outlook.

More than 400 Ethiopian and international importers, exporters, invited guests and government officials from around the world including Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, USAID Mission Director Dennis Weller and Minister of Trade Kebede Chane, attended the conference opening.

“With more than four million Ethiopian smallholder farmers relying on the production of sesame and chickpea for their livelihood, developing these value chains is an important part of our program,” said Weller. “By increasing yields and exports, we are improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their families across Ethiopia.”

Developing the sesame and chickpea value chains are an important part of USAID’s Agricultural Growth Program-Agribusiness Market Development, the flagship activity under the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative in Ethiopia.