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Ethiopian Commodity Exchange to monopolise sesame trading
By Muluken Yewondwossen
In a move that hands over responsibility for sesame trading exclusively to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) is preparing to endorse a new ECX mandate, before the coming harvest season which begins in October 2009.
Sesame is the second largest export crop in Ethiopia and is growing in importance as a foreign exchange earner. Last fiscal year, the country exported 300 million dollars worth of sesame to Far Eastern and European markets.
Africa’s largest sesame exporter, Ethiopia began trading the seed through a new electronic system at its commodity exchange for the first time in early May this year.
Until now, 95 per cent of the sesame crop has been traded individually by small scale farmers with only a small percentage traded through the ECX, on a trial basis.
But the change will mean traders will buy and sell the seed on the trading floor in the same way as the country’s largest export item, coffee.
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