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Sunflowers, Soy Might Be Success in Ethiopia

11 May 2011

ETHIOPIA - Soybean companies and sunflower companies are economically and agronomically feasible in Ethiopia, if their activities are fine-tuned within a chain.

Compared to other oilseeds, sunflowers offer good and soy offers poor opportunities. On farm level, the economic results are comparable with the results of the current crops. However, oil mills achieve higher results with sunflowers compared to the current oilseeds. For soybeans the results are comparable.

The success of value chains in sunflowers or soybeans depends on several key success factors. Ethiopian growers have scarce experience in growing these crops. Therefore they will be reluctant to grow them.

To be able to introduce these crops, all participants in the value chain have to share a mutual strategy. Furthermore, the researchers suggest focusing on sunflowers, especially on sunflower oil, because the Ethiopian diet is insufficient in fats. Soy turns out to have no value added for human consumption in Ethiopia.

Huge opportunities in agriculture production

Ethiopia could double its agricultural production, if farmers applied best practices. More edible oil can be produced instead of importing it. At the same time, Ethiopia can export a larger quantity of oilseeds. According to the researchers, the opportunities of these best practices are huge, if sufficient credit and inputs such as fertilisers, crop protection agents and improved seed varieties are available.

LEI and Plant Research International (PRI), both part of Wageningen University and Research Centre, explored the opportunities of soybeans and sunflowers in Ethiopia. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation commissioned this research.

The research assessed the business opportunities of soy and sunflowers and benchmarked them against the currently grown crops and applied agronomic, economic and institutional analyses. The interests of the chain as a whole and of each business in the value chain have been identified.

TheCropSite News Desk

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