teff

Teff love: Ethiopia’s staple crop requires big push

BY BART MINTEN, ALEMAYEHU SEYOUM TAFFESSE AND SMITA AGGARWAL

Not long ago, teff—the gluten-free, nutrient-rich, 3,000-year-old grain native to Ethiopia—had its media moment as the world began to recognize the nutritional potential of this poppy-sized staple. Teff was called the next “supergrain,” joining the select club of popular exotic grains such as quinoa, farro, and millet.

The Economics of Teff

Teff plays a leading role in both the diets and the economy of Ethiopia. While the crop’s potential to expand into lucrative domestic and global export markets is large, however, little investment has been made to expand the crop’s productivity to take advantage of these opportunities.

Post-Harvest Losses in Ethiopian Teff

It is a commonly held belief that post-harvest losses along staple food value chains in developing countries tend to be high. However, a new research note from the Ethiopia Strategy Support Program (ESSP) suggests that in the case of Ethiopian teff, this may not be true.

Ethiopia’s Farmers and Urban Growth

Urbanization rates have exploded across Africa over the past 20 years. According to the African Development Bank, between 1982 and 2012, African cities grew at a rate of 3.5 percent per year, and experts only forecast this trend to continue. The World Bank expects the share of Africans living in urban areas to reach 50 percent by 2030.

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