Ethiopia grows over 23 culinary and aromatic herbs and over 100 medicinal herbs that are currently on use at commercial scale. The annual production of major edible herbs in Ethiopia is estimated to be over 10,000MT. The top three herbs produced in the country are Basil, Rue, and Koseret. Herbs like Rosemary, Chives, and Parsley are the most popular among commercial herb growers for the export market. Production of herbs is primarily by smallholder farmers but commercial farmers are playing an active role particularly in production for export. The processing of herbs in Ethiopia has been limited to essential oil extraction and production of herbal tea. Estimates reveal that the country produces around 3 MT of essential oil mainly from Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, and Rosemary. The processing of herbal tea is made by Ethio-AgriCeft using chamomile.

The global market for herbs is dominated by a few European, Asian, and North American countries. Other recent reports indicate the market for herbs to be over 120 billion USD in 2020 and forecasted to grow by 8%. The growth is driven by increasing the health consciousness of consumers particularly in Europe, North America, and Asia. On the other hand, the annual demand for essential oils is estimated to be USD 16 billion in 2017 and the market was projected to grow at 9% CAGR in the coming five years.

An overview of global import and export of herbs indicate that China, India, and Germany are the top three exporter countries of medicinal herbs whereas USA, Germany and Japan are the leading importers. On the other hand, Italy, the Netherlands, and China lead the exporters’ pack for fresh herbs while the USA, Germany, and the UK are the top three importers. It is important to note that data for export and import of herbs is not comprehensive as different herbs are placed under different HS codes that can’t be easily retrieved. 

Concerning essential oils, the top three exporters are (1) India (2) USA (3) UAE. The global essential oil market was estimated to be over USD 9 billion in 2019. The market was projected to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate of 9% in the coming five years and reach 15 billion USD in 2026. The essential oil market is segmented into three different categories: by product, channel, and application. 

The major essential oil market segments by the product are Orange, Eucalyptus, Corn mint, Peppermint, Citronella, Lemon, Lime, Cloverleaf, Spearmint, and others. The Orange essential oil leads with an annual estimated demand of close to 2 billion per year. Essential oil application can be classified into four: food and beverage, medical, cleaning and home, and spa, and relaxation. The food and beverage segment accounts for over 3 billion annual turnovers of the essential oil market. 

The addition of essential oils to food products not only enhances the sensory characteristics but also increases the shelf-life and storage stability of a variety of edibles. Flavors and fragrances application utilizes significant quantities of these oils in the global marketplace. The application spectrum of essential oils is further expected to expand based on the reported anti-toxigenic, anti-parasitic, and insecticidal traits.

We stand as the premier choice for agribusiness services and products, possessing over a decade of expertise in serving farmers in Ethiopia and neighboring countries. In an effort to expand our influence, we have recently ventured into the education sector. Our success is rooted in strategic partnerships with local, international, and governmental organizations.



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