Sesame is an important agribusiness sector in Ethiopia and is one of the six priority crops of the Agricultural Growth Programme (AGP). Ethiopia is the fourth biggest producer and second biggest exporter of sesame in the world. The export value of sesame is estimated around 600 million US dollars between September 2013 and August 2014 (National Bank of Ethiopia, sesame export transactions, 2013–2014).

Although it already has a significant turnover, the sector has substantial potential for further growth in terms of production and yield improvement, reduction of post-harvest losses, domestic value addition, market access and turnover. The largest part of the Ethiopia Sesame Production and Export originates from Humera and Metema production zones in the northwest part of Ethiopia.

The Sesame Business Network (SBN) is largely an informal innovation network in northwest Ethiopia that is driven by local entrepreneurs and other stakeholders working in the sesame production and business sector.

The vision of the SBN and its Support Project-Benefit-SBN is that stakeholders of the SBN jointly develop more competitive, sustainable and inclusive sesame value chains, for farmers income improvement and spill-over effect.

To achieve the overall goal of the SBN, the following specific objectives are pursued:

  • Sesame business clusters are vibrant, provide internal services and navigate their business
  • Farmers, linked to agro-input and financial markets, improve production, yields and quality
  • Sesame chain actors create more added value and more profitable access national and international markets
  • Stakeholder networks exchange and learn, and address strategic sesame business challenges

By Sesame Business Network, Gondar-Ethiopia