Teff, the Ethiopian superfood that used to be banned (CNN)

(CNN) Gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber and minerals, Teff is starting to gain a foothold as a new “superfood”, along the likes of quinoa and spelt.

The grain has been grown in Ethiopia for thousands of years, but its export was banned by the government until this year. Now it is appearing on supermarket shelves worldwide.

It’s also the main ingredient of injera, the flat pancakes that are the centerpiece of Ethiopian food and the source of livelihood for around 6.5 million small farmers.

“When you look across Ethiopia, Teff is the most important commodity for Ethiopia, both on the production side as well as the consumption side,” says Khalid Bomba, the CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency. “Teff is native to the country, but is also a huge part of our culture.”

The Ethiopian government ended the export of raw teff in 2006, as rising grain prices prompted fears of a food crisis. Processed teff — in the form of injera — was still exported, mainly to the Ethiopian diaspora in northern Europe, the Middle East and North America.

The export ban was partially lifted this year, after investments in mechanization and better farming techniques increased yields by 40%.

“The concern that the Ethiopian government had in the past about exporting was in making sure that there was sufficient amount of supply for the domestic market — for urban consumers, as well as the rural poor,” Bomba says. “[Rising yields] have given the government confidence that systematic exports of Teff can gain smallholder farmers in Ethiopia… increased income, without harming the domestic consumers.”

Lifting the ban could create a new and lucrative export industry for Ethiopia, as consumers in Europe and North America latch onto the nutritional properties of teff. Teff flour sells for around $6-10 per pound, and the gluten-free seeds are now in high demand at health food shops the world over.

Hailu Tessema, CEO of Mama Fresh, which exports injera to the US and Scandinavia, says that the demand is growing, and importers from countries across Europe and Africa have approached him looking to secure supplies.

“Every year, the demand increases by foreigners from 7-10%,” he says. “So that is good for us, we have got the business in our hands; we have a market.”

Click here to watch CNN video.

Share Button
Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any losses or damages that may have caused by using our services. EMF declines all responsibility for the contents of the materials stored by users. Each and every user is solely responsible for the posts.
Posted by on December 19, 2015. Filed under COMMENTARY,VIEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to Teff, the Ethiopian superfood that used to be banned (CNN)

  1. ናቲስሃ Reply

    January 1, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    A few months after my boy friend proposed to me, there were rumor of him being sighted with my close friend at that time. He tried lying about it anyway, but my so-called friend admitted they were an Item and she was Pregnant for him already. A few days later my Fiance called to tell me the engagement was off. i was devastated, I later discovered that he has been seeing this my “Friend” for months. I feel humiliated and betrayed, and anger is the only thing that has kept me going. All i can think off is wreaking revenge on my Ex-Fiance and my so-called friend, till a close friend of mine in my office, told me how she got her husband back when he left her for her friend also. when she mentioned the name OLUKU it was strange to me because i have heard a lot about the Great Spell Caster from both the newspaper and the media news by different individuals on how he has restored relationships and marriage. being a humiliated and frustrated person i ask my friend for
    his contact, immediately she got it for me, i contacted him immediately for my relationship restoration because i love my boy friend so much loosing him for my friend was something i could just let happen. after i did what OLUKU ask me to do immediately my Fiance came back to me Pleding, i’m so happy for the marvelous turn-around in my relationship with the help of dr. Oluku, so to you reading this my mail i don’t also know how a friend or the challenges you are facing right now in your relationship or marriage, believe me that dr. Oluku is the man whose spell can really solve any kinds of problem, you can contact him via: droluku@gmail.com and you will be surprise over his mighty powers. Natasha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *