"Medicinal crops" in Ethiopia
- Current status and future potentials-
Japan Association for
International Collaboration of
Agriculture and Forestry
In response to the Development Initiative which was proposed by the then Prime Minister
Koizumi on the occasion of the WTO ministerial conference in Hong Kong in December 2005,
the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced "the Initiative by Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries". This initiative makes it its mainstay to support the
production of marketable products of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and, for that purpose,
aims at assisting developing countries in their efforts of developing not only the production but
also the sub-sectors of processing, distribution and marketing.
For the fiscal year 2007, in order to contribute to this development initiative, we took up the
medicinal plants in Ethiopia as the subject of our activities, and the results of which are
summarized in this document. Incidentally, we would like to mention in advance that the subject
matter of our study, "medicinal crops", are treated as "medicinal plants", in view of the current
status of their production and utilization in the country, and that they include not only those
which are distributed as pharmaceutical products but also other commodities for food locally
believed to be beneficial to health as well as those of herbs and spices.
This document has summarized systematically the current status of affairs of medicinal plants,
and, at the same time, tried to present concrete ideas as much as possible, so that they will serve
as a clue in actual planning for developmental cooperation in the country in the future. We
would be greatly privileged if the information in the book shall be put to practical use by those
As a final remark, I would like to remind you that this has been prepared solely on the
responsibility of our association, and hence, does not represent the view of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President, Japan Association for International Collaboration of Agriculture and Forestry
Masayoshi Shigeta, Dr. (Chairman, Committee for the Higher Income Agriculture:
"Medicinal Crops" in Ethiopia)
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies
Hajime Ohigashi, Dr.
Faculty of Biotechnology
Fukui Prefectural University
Endashaw Bekele, Dr.
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
Addis Ababa University
Yuka Kodama, Dr.
African Studies Group
Area Studies Center
Institute of Developing Economies
Atsuyuki Hishida, Dr.
Senior Research Scientist
Division of Tsukuba
Research Center for Medicinal Plant Resources
National Institute of Biomedical Innovation
Morie Kaneko, Dr.
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Tree of Life Co., Ltd.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Medicinal plants in Ethiopia - the potential and possibility
for development. Masayoshi Shigeta . 1
Chapter 1.Utilization and production of medicinal plants . Hajime Ohigashi . 4
1. Natural medicines . 4
2. Medicinal crops grown in the tropics . 4
3. What we can expect from medicinal crops in Ethiopia . 5
Chanter 2.Status of utilization of medicinal plants
in Ethiopia . Endashaw Bekele, Masayoshi Shigeta . 7 1. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the medicinal plant sector
of Ethiopia (SWOT analysis) . 8
2. State and potential of medicinal plants in Ethiopia: proposals. 10
Chapter 3.Status of useful crops, issues and potentials
1. Coffee . Yuka Kodama . 15
2. Frankincense, myrrh and natural resins. Atsuyuki Hishida. 19
3. Eucalyptus . Yuka Kodama . 22
4. Sweet wormwood. Atsuyuki Hishida. 26
[Annex] Potential of ensete fiber as product of a high profit crops
. Morie Kaneko . 28
Chapter 4.Expectations for medicinal plants in Ethiopia and potentials of
Japan's cooperation . Atsuyuki Hishida. 30
1. Expectations for medicinal plants in Ethiopia and potentials of Japan's cooperation. 30
2. Realization of the production system to ensure "safety" and "quality" . 31
3. Cases of development of high profit agriculture . 32
Chapter 5.Propositions on marketing
- Potentials as observed through field survey. Ryoichi Udagawa . 40
Introduction: Medicinal plants in Ethiopia – the potential and possibility for development
Medicinal plants still play important roles in daily life in developing countries
of Asia and Africa, including Ethiopia. Medicinal plants not only serve as
complements or substitutes for modern medical treatments, which are often
inadequately available, but also enhance the health and security of local people. Thus these
plants play indispensable roles in daily life and are deeply connected to diverse social, cultural,
and economic events associated with life, aging, illness, and death.
In recent years, there have been rising expectations that certain medicinal plants might
become cash crops, with large added value and large revenues for local people. For such
expectations to become a reality, we must first have basic information on medicinal plants in
local communities. With this in mind, I review the use and place of medicinal plants in local
communities and considerations for cash crop development.
Here, medicinal plants are broadly propositioned as a high-profit crop of the future, but
how should we interpret "high profit"? The term implies a crop that brings in a great deal of
money; however, should money be the only criterion? Even if much money can be earned,
larger and more relevant questions are by whom is it earned, when, where, how and how much,
from whom, and by what means?
In other words, we must consider the significance within a cultural context and that
culture's notions of "value" and "profitable." The question of what is "profitable" often
becomes a point of argument in discussions of the development and progress of African
agriculture. That is, how can we interpret the reality that African farmers who have tried to
adapt to the market economy system by accepting a path to modernized agriculture represented
by chemical fertilizers, agricultural machinery, and improved varieties have, nonetheless, not
necessarily escaped from economic poverty? Having searched for the answer to this key
question, I propose that African farmers who appear to have joined the market economy might,
in fact, not necessarily have been integrated substantially into the fabric of its fundamental
principles. This view is not unique. Many researchers of the traditional economies of Africa
have expounded their versions of this argument from various perspectives. Space is too limited
here to detail all those perspectives. Instead, I cite a researcher who shares my argument and
viewpoint, namely, one of our committee members, Mr. Ryoichi Udagawa, who advocates
"Community Trade rather than Fair Trade." We essentially share the same approach to the
question of what is "profitable" by thinking primarily in terms of the standards of African
farmers and considering that notions of what is profitable or fair may represent imposed external
Considering this perspective, can we still envisage a model that ensures the success of
medicinal plants as cash crops in Ethiopia? There is no specific successful model that should be
emulated as the template for medicinal plant production. However, the cases of other crops
indigenous to Ethiopia, namely coffee, khat, and ensete, may serve as reference examples.
These crops are found in homegardens throughout the Ethiopian highlands. In terms of
agro-ecological significance, they are comparable to cultivated medicinal plants. Further, like
medicinal plants, these crops have long held important places in the livelihood of local people.
First, starting with coffee, we can learn from its position as a "cultural asset." No other
Ethiopian crop has been so well branded that it is immediately evoked by the simple mention of
Ethiopia. Ideas to bring about even further added value are ongoing, such as the creation of new
brands out of local varieties. These strategies could also be adopted for medicinal plants.
Next, khat is a nonessential grocery item that has well-established systems of production,
consumption, and distribution, although there is some criticism of its stimulant property. Since
most medicinal plants are traded as "fresh commodities," we can learn from the technologies
associated with khat distribution, such as the delicate packaging technique that enables transport
of the green khat leaves.
Finally, ensete, which, along with tef, is one of the basic subsistence crops in Ethiopia,
has storable properties and possibilities for multipurpose usage that might provide lessons for
medicinal crops. Ensete is a perennial crop that is grown abundantly in homegardens but is
generally not exploited as a cash crop. Recent studies have suggested that such a seemingly
irrational situation of crop management has significance in the issue of food security in rural
areas of Ethiopia. Furthermore, the concept of multipurpose usage of a single crop plant
represents beneficial use of land and space.
All three crops have a common background in that local systems of distribution and
marketing exist for each, and each has a long history as a cash crop. However, an important
negative aspect to consider in regard to these crops is that there has been relatively little interest
in improving their cultivation, production, and processing technologies, even though great
production capacity already exists and their marketing has greatly benefited the stakeholders
It is plausible that certain elements of existing crop systems can serve as examples of
successful models of highly profitable crops. However, many problems must be accounted for
before this concept can materialize into a success story of profitable cash crops that will help the
Ethiopian people realize "better" lives.
I will finish these introductory remarks by pointing out some of these problems, which
fall into the following five themes: value and economy; consideration of universality; respect
for accumulated knowledge; ensuring innovation; and collaboration.
First, as I have already noted, I have reservations about the idea that "being profitable is
all that counts." We must consider to the concept of value held by the particular society
concerned. Let us assume that there is such a concept of value shared by society members. Even
if this were the case, the idea of "value" may not be fixed and remain forever unchanged. It is
also clear that economic effects are not only concerned with matters of money. In our case, we
might connect economic effects with enhancements of health, welfare, happiness, and security.
In this regard, it is necessary to also promote collaboration while comparing and considering
different definitions of value.
Second, there is the issue of universality. When we consider the growth of a local
community through the development of medicinal plants, this matter goes beyond that particular
plant. Unless we deeply understand all aspects of the issue, including the sustainability of
development, ecology, society, and the culture of the community, it would be improper to
propose any cooperative development program.
In this regard, the third problem I would like to point out is that of honor and respect for
accumulated local knowledge. It is essential that we start our projects based on the results of
past studies by indigenous Ethiopian scholars and that we develop projects with full respect and
incorporation of such wisdom. That is, we must consider the conventional knowledge
accumulated by people in regard to medicinal plants as beneficial plant resources. This approach
is the leading principle that should be adhered to when forming joint research efforts to develop
traditional medicinal plants as cash crops.
Another often-neglected issue is the need to ensure the spirit of innovation through
scientific approaches to the study of medicinal plants. We must have more exact knowledge of
the physical properties and effects of medicinal plants, beyond the sometimes vague
characteristics described in traditional and cultural contexts. Leading-edge technology and
techniques can be used to investigate "traditional" methods of use and will be indispensable in
undertaking research programs in collaboration with Ethiopian scientists.
Last, I must stress the importance of collaboration, which has been brought up repeatedly
in this talk. The possibility of "profitable" medicinal plants will emerge only when long-term
collaboration is envisaged not only by plant researchers but also by the Ethiopian people who
use these plants on a daily basis.
Chapter 1 Utilization and production of medicinal plants
1. Natural medicines
It is believed that about half of the top 25 best selling medicines in the world originate
from natural materials, including plant substances. Although the number of cases where a
natural material as it is makes a medicine is not so many, quite a few of them have served as a
model (lead) compound which has subsequently been modified in its structure and processed
into an excellent medicine.
Incidentally, it may have been common knowledge that the principal objects of plant as
resources of medicine, since ancient times, have been looked for among those growing in the
tropics. One of the reasons for it could have been attributed to the diversity, the particularity or
the novelty of plant species growing there. The more numerous are the plant species, the more
numerous would be the chemical species, and sometimes there is a possibility that the search
would end up with finding an ingredient with undreamt-of chemical structure. Even nowadays,
a succession of findings is being made about compounds that are expected to make excellent
medicines in future.
2. Medicinal crops grown in the tropics
Now, if we consider about "medicinal crops", naturally we may have to add a viewpoint
of agriculture (cultivation). In the cases of conventionally well known medicinal crops, because
all of them produce raw materials and ingredients that have practical values as
pharmacologically active substances, many of them have become the objects of efforts for
transplanting to new areas with more favorable environment, and have eventually been put to
large-scale cultivation. Moreover, with a view to acquiring and developing varieties of higher
quality, intensive efforts have been made for exploring new related species or improvement of
In recent years, the recognition of importance of prevention of diseases along with their
cure is increasing. In particular, their prevention through daily meals has gathered great
expectations, and consequently, the study on the category of foods called functional foods which
are effective for preventing diseases, the clarification of their chemical factors and their
application have greatly advanced.
If we base our observations on such a perspective, presently we may be able to classify
into the category of medicinal crops such conventional foods for beverage as tea, coffee and
cacao, or such oil crops as oil palm and olive, or furthermore various spices and herbs.
3. What we can expect from medicinal crops in Ethiopia
Now, beginning from this section, reporter wishes to describe what we can expect from
Ethiopia, from the viewpoint of medicinal crops, by referring to a few cases to be treated later in
In the domain of food with health-promoting benefits, the antioxidant compound in food
constitutes one of the most important targets. This is because the suppression of oxidation of
living body as much as possible can prevent (retard development) of many adult diseases.
Lately, it has been found that coffee contains a large amount of antioxidant compounds,
such as caffeic acid and its related compound, chlorogenic acid (these compounds are generally
referred to as polyphenols in chemical classification). It is attracting attention also as a resource
crop for producing antioxidant food factors, being expected to contribute to the prevention of
many adult diseases.
Another characteristic of coffee in its contained compounds is the existence of mannan
oligosaccharide which is specifically present in coffee. The mannan oligosaccharide is known to
be hard to digest and reach to the intestines without undergoing decomposition. The
oligosaccharide that has reached the intestines provides nutrients to bacteria living there, and
these bacteria often afford beneficial effects on humans. The food compounds that have similar
characteristics are called prebiotics and have been reported to provide the effect to regulate the
functions of the intestines or to reduce the body fat.
As described above, presently coffee (beans) is becoming a large target in the domain of
foods with health-promoting benefits. From now on, there may emerge a new demand for
producing not only the coffee beans for beverage purposes but also the particular type of coffee
beans that would contain a larger amount of each of components with health-promoting
It has been known that the products of secondary metabolism of plants vary greatly in
quality and quantity depending on the growing environment. The quality and quantity of
components with health-promoting benefits in coffee must also be influenced by cultural
environment and techniques. It is expected that the topographic and climatic diversity in
Ethiopia is hiding the potentials of producing the coffee beans of particular kinds of
If the range of medicinal plants is further extended, frankincense presents also an
interesting target. Frankincense (gum olibanum) produced in Arabian Peninsula and on
highlands in a part of Africa has been highly valued since antiquity as a natural material for its
particular and attractive fragrance that has made it be used on ceremonial occasions. Recently
the science on aromas has been evolving, and with the start of practice where "aromas" are
applied also in the clinical domain as in the case of aroma therapy, they are presenting a
prospect of significant development in the future as well. Considering the diversity of
environmental characteristics in Ethiopia, there would be a potential of producing a particular
variety of frankincense.
Each of the above-cited two representative cases may indicate promises of development
of "an Ethiopian specialty" based on the growing environment of crops.
Chapter 2 Status of utilization of medicinal plants in Ethiopia
Many medicines widely in use today incorporate ingredients from plants. Traditional
"medicinal plants" have greatly contributed to the development of modern medicines. In many
developing countries such as Ethiopia, traditional medicinal plants are still commonly used in
daily life and play important roles as complements to underdeveloped modern health care
For persons involved in collecting and selling traditional medicinal plants, as well as in
providing traditional medical services, these plants are often the most profitable commodity
available. Hence, great potential exists for medicinal plants to contribute to economic
development and poverty alleviation in Ethiopia. Moreover, appropriate management of these
plant resources could contribute to efforts to conserve biodiversity and protect the environment.
Similar to the situation in many developing countries, including those in sub-Saharan
Africa, 70% of human and 90% of livestock populations in Ethiopia depend on traditional
medicines derived from medicinal plants for their primary health care. Typical medicinal plants
of Ethiopia include Hagenia abyssinica, used as an anthelminthic against tapeworms;
Phytolacca dodecondra, taken to control the intermediate host of schistosomes; and species of
the genus Maytenus, many of which contain anti-malarial properties and are objects of research
by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Traditional health care practices and medicines are deeply
embedded in culture and have been passed down through oral traditions as well as in written
records and pharmacopoeias.
Thus in Ethiopia, medicinal plants and knowledge of their use are culturally deep-rooted
and contribute greatly to the health care of humans and livestock throughout the country.
However, while various studies have noted the significant role of medicinal plants in primary
health care, most previous studies on medicinal plants in Ethiopia have been descriptive efforts
aimed a cataloging or preparing checklists of plants and uses. Only a few studies have integrated
modern research techniques for analysis and definition of the principal components of
Ethiopia's medicinal plants.
Demand for herbal remedies has increased in both industrialized and developing countries.
In part, such demand reflects dissatisfaction with conventional medicines in industrialized
countries and a lack of doctors and the shortages and high costs of pharmaceutical products in
less developed countries. Moreover, herbal remedies have attracted a great deal of attention as
potential components of modern medicines for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancers,
rheumatism, arthritis, and asthma. Thus for various reasons, herbal remedies are widely popular
throughout the world.
Most of the plant matter used for medicinal purposes is collected from natural vegetation
stocks that are shrinking as habitats also shrink. Such declines in habitat have led to substantial
reductions in plant material, as well as decreases in endemic species numbers. Environmental
degradation, agricultural expansion, deforestation, and excessive resource harvesting in Ethiopia
have combined to cause rapid losses of plant and animal habitats as well as species. Expanding
human and livestock populations have also accelerated this trend, hastening the impoverishment
of rural communities and the loss of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge.
Such losses of plant and animal biodiversity and knowledge in Ethiopia have aroused
global concern. A full-scale plan to conserve, develop, and effectively use these resources
requires investment commitments by government agencies, the private sector, and international
development organizations. However, before such investments and support can be realized,
information on the condition and economic value of resources is necessary. Thus a critical
overview of medicinal plants in Ethiopia, the demand for such plants, and their trading potential
and economic benefits is necessary. Such an overview will aid in clarifying the strengths,
weaknesses, and opportunities in the medicinal plant sector and in creating recommendations
for medicinal plant development.
1 Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the medicinal plant sector
of Ethiopia (SWOT analysis)
While the medicinal plant sector in Ethiopia has many strengths and opportunities to
enhance productivity and improve livelihoods, many weaknesses and threats remain to be
overcome. These positive and negative aspects are summarized below.
Rich biological diversity of medicinal plants, allowing for selection of promising
species suitable for cultivation
Untapped, valuable indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants Availability for home consumption of easily accessible medicinal plants Well-established traditions of medicinal plant cultivation and methods for adapting
plants to local environments
Numerous traditional healers who can aid in the development of medicinal plants Large numbers of religious institutions and healers to collaborate in promoting the
medicinal plant sector
Farmers eager to cultivate medicinal plants, if developed High demand for medicinal plants due to the emergence or re-emergence of certain
diseases, high costs and limitations of modern medicines, desire for the
environmentally friendly properties of medicinal plants, and chance to discover new
Biomedical benefits provided by medicinal plants, which are a product of knowledge
accumulated over centuries
Efforts to conserve biodiversity are not producing desired results. Indigenous medical knowledge is enigmatic, and such secrecy prevents free
Isolation of the active properties of medicinal plants is deterred by low scientific
Poor mode of presentation of medicinal plants to patients Lack of a marketing infrastructure Underdeveloped system of marketing information Excessive dependence on the trade of medicinal plants may constrain conservation
Further enhancement of economic benefits Further development of employment opportunities Possible motive for conserving biodiversity in natural and human-made ecosystems Active use of medicinal plants will contribute to the preservation of indigenous
botanical and medical knowledge.
The conservation of cultural and spiritual values will be passed on to future
generations and contribute to the maintenance of cultural and natural assets of
Optimum utilization of rich indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants Development of the medicinal plant sector as an industry to generate income for poor
Improvement of Ethiopia's health care system Tapping into external markets Plant species of high international value, including Prunus africana, aloes, Walburgia
ugandensis, and Mystenus species, might be marketable.
Helping Ethiopia in its efforts to gain a high share in the international market for
Ecological degradation Loss of indigenous knowledge Loss of cultural assets Threat of illegal smuggling and misuse of resources to medicinal plant conservation Lack of a suitable scheme for equitable sharing of benefits arising from biological
An underdeveloped market may prevent cultivators from producing medicinal plants
Traditional healers may not participate and fully collaborate.
2 State and potential of medicinal plants in Ethiopia: proposals
In Ethiopia, as in many other countries in similar circumstances, plans for medicinal plant
development must consider the following: (1) the enhancement of human life, health, and
happiness, (2) the ecological, cultural, and societal sustainability of local communities, and (3)
the social acceptability of economic benefits. Such considerations will enhance the role of
medicinal plants in societal, cultural, and economic contexts and help build stakeholder capacity.
Considering these suppositions, in the following eight articles, we provide some observations
and perspectives on the potential of medicinal plant development in Ethiopia.
1) Efforts to preserve and transfer indigenous knowledge
In most developing countries, including Ethiopia, indigenous knowledge of traditional
medicinal plants and their uses has been passed from one generation to the next by word of
mouth. However, many young people today have little interest in traditional knowledge of
medicinal plants. Consequently, it is crucial to collect, compile, and preserve indigenous
knowledge for future generations before this knowledge is lost. To that end, ethnobotanical and
ethnopharmaceutical studies are necessary, through collaborations with scientists, relevant
public agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
2) Promoting education and traditional health care methods
A first priority is education on the role and importance of traditional health care. Of
particular importance is informing young people that traditional health care using medicinal
plants is still an effective and important medical practice, that medicinal plants are important
sources of medicines, and that these plants hold great potential for future medical discoveries.
Students should be fully informed of indigenous knowledge and traditional practices involving
medicinal plants. We strongly recommend that school curricula incorporate diverse practical
programs on traditional health care and medicinal plants.
3) Capacity building
Users and practitioners of traditional medicine encounter a number of constraints such as
the seasonal availability of plants, shortages of finances, and lack of technical know-how. To
overcome these constraints, external aid alone is not sufficient; further, the effects of outside aid
are often not sustainable. Consequently, improving the capacity of those involved in traditional
health care is imperative, through indigenous knowledge transfer and formal education on
medicinal plants. To reach this aim, it is first necessary to identify and register traditional health
care practitioners and note their status in social classes and groups. Identifying genuinely
knowledgeable practitioners should help improve traditional medical treatment and practice
While many practitioners have already organized professional associations, principally in
Addis Ababa, but also in other areas, these are still generally separate entities engaged in
independent activities. A strong national association or cooperative for traditional medicine
practitioners is highly recommended. Through such an organization, individuals could upgrade
their capacities and participate in periodic training or other programs to improve their technical
skills. Moreover, an overarching professional organization could provide traditional
practitioners with basic training on modern medical practice, adding to their traditional medical
skills. Skill upgrading programs could also teach agronomic techniques not directly related to
medical practice. For medicinal plants to be commercially viable, we must not only verify their
effectiveness but also educate practitioners to improve their technical capabilities.
4) Developing technology for cultivation and production
To develop the medicinal plant sector in Ethiopia, once genuinely effective medicinal
plants are identified, they must then be effectively cultivated and processed. However, little
technology has been developed for these purposes, except for a few cultivated medicinal plants
such as turmeric and khat.
Further, particularly for plants collected in the wild, few measures have been established
for their protection and conservation, and knowledge of their cultivation and production is
practically nonexistent. Of special concern are plants harvested for their roots, tubers, and bulbs
that reproduce by vegetative propagation; to conserve these plants, we must identify and harvest
only those parts that are more easily regenerated. Moreover, in terms of vegetation classification,
attention should focus on Ethiopia's woodlands, which are the sources of most medicinal plants,
followed by the montane grassland/dry montane forest complex.
In summary, to ensure sustainable and stable supplies of medicinal plant resources,
technology and cultivation methods must be developed for medicinal plants that are in short
5) Diffusion of technologies for processing, storage, and control of quality and safety
The most underdeveloped portion of the medicinal plant sector in Ethiopia is that
associated with the development and diffusion of technologies for processing and storing plant
material and for controlling product quality and safety. Studies on the standardization of
medicinal plants should be conducted based on national health care guidelines and policies.
Ethiopia should formulate its own safety standards and extend technologies to ensure
compliance with those standards.
Further, legal standardization of appropriate quality-control procedures is also necessary
to preserve and store large quantities of medicines derived from medicinal plants. Similarly,
suitable packaging adapted to the physical properties of traditional medicines is required to sell
6) Providing economic and market information
Medicinal plants and associated activities have not yet brought about satisfactory
economic benefits for most Ethiopians, with the exception of the recent expansion of the market
for khat as a nonessential grocery item. Indeed, for resource conservation and the continued use
of medicinal plants in primary local health care, the generation of large cash benefits would
arouse concern. Moreover, the medicinal plant sector has provided diverse benefits to local
communities that cannot be expressed in monetary terms, such as health maintenance and
enhancement. Future studies should compare the costs and benefits of traditional and modern
Considering the medicinal plant sector from an economic standpoint, it is desirable that
market sites and retail outlets be established in production areas. Currently, Ethiopia has no
formal markets that are publicly approved and legally protected and controlled either for
medicinal plants or for the services provided by practitioners. Efforts are needed to formalize
not only the services provided by practitioners and vendors, but also for medicinal plant
products, while considering the risk of monopoly of products and knowledge and respecting the
diversity of communities and ethnic backgrounds.
Furthermore, most individual farmers do not have access to accurate information on the
commercial value of medicinal plants. This situation should be remedied as soon as possible by
providing not only the previously mentioned opportunities for technology transfer, but also a
mechanism to facilitate communication among market participants. The establishment of a
market information system and business linkages would also aid in capacity building of
7) Structural and institutional interventions according to needs
To realize the recommendations proposed above, structural and institutional interventions
by the government or other administrative authorities are called for, in accordance with
voluntary efforts by those involved in the sector. For example, the introduction of a system to
register and license traditional health care practitioners would greatly facilitate the
implementation of official measures to support this sector. However, in organizing those
involved in traditional medicine, social and cultural factors must be carefully considered to
ensure good accord between the newly introduced system and existing conventional systems. To
that end, knowledge obtained by cultural anthropology and ethnobotany studies should be fully
Furthermore, an environment conducive to assisting practitioners of traditional medicine
should be created so that traditional and modern medical practitioners can coexist
collaboratively and complementarily, with the latter recognizing the role that the former have
played in addressing prevalent diseases such as respiratory infections, diarrhea, malaria,
tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, and
other parasitic diseases.
8) Promotion of community-based resource management
Lastly, we note the overt and latent benefits enjoyed by local communities as stages for
traditional treatment using plants. Medicinal plants have played significant roles in local
communities in Ethiopia in three main ways: enhancement of health and welfare; sustainability
of natural and cultural resources; and economic value. For community members, accessible
medical care and products have been indispensable in maintaining life and health. Moreover,
medicinal plants in use for generations reflect the sustainability of natural and social
environments in which a community is situated. Furthermore, since these medicines are
generally inexpensive and can be obtained close to home, the users of medicinal plants gain
economic benefits. Practices of traditional medicine also create employment opportunities and
provide income for both practitioners and vendors.
Despite the benefits to local communities and the ecological, societal, cultural, and
economic importance of medicinal plants, conservation of these plants and the traditional
knowledge of their use have generally been neglected. Further, there is little knowledge of the
additional potential benefits of traditional medicinal plants and little government support for
such research. However, despite this, the government should not hesitate to intervene with
administrative measures to improve medicinal plant use and address problems confronting local
Particularly, for the conservation of medicinal plant resources and their sustainable use,
various relevant studies suggest that, in collaboration with local communities and relevant
organizations and individuals, plans for natural resource management should integrate
requirements for the sustainable harvesting of medicinal plants.
The original document of Chapter 2, the report produced by Dr. Endashaw Bekele, is now
available online at http://www.jaicaf.or.jp/ publications/Ethiopia_ac.pdf
Chapter 3 Status of useful crops in Ethiopia, current issues and future potentials
This chapter presents the present status and future issues and potentials for a certain
number of crops that have been selected from among those currently cultivated usefully in
Ethiopia, with the selection criteria that they particularly hold promise as sources of income,
and that as of now diverse cultural practices and distribution systems for them have been
developed and can be expected to be applied to other crops.
1) Characteristics of Ethiopian coffee
Coffea arabica originated in Ethiopia and all the varieties grown in the country have
derived from the huge gene pool of indigenous coffee species and varieties (more than 3,500).
The coffee production systems in Ethiopia can be classified into 4 types: (1) Forest (a system
where products are harvested from wildcoffee trees in the tropical rain forests); (2) Semi-forest
(a system with a higher degree of human intervention of forest management); (3) Garden ( a
system which is managed the most intensively by farmers with 2-3 times of weeding, along with
the practice of fertilizer application); and (4) Plantation. Considering that most of production
comes from the activities of smallholder farmers, and the traditional production systems tend to
have affinities for biodiversity, the first 3 are more important for preserving the biodiversity
2) World coffee market and Ethiopia
(1) Overview of the world market
Currently the world coffee market is suffering from chronic oversupply. Since the 1950s,
in comparison to the yearly growth rate of consumption at 1-2 %, the production has shown a
higher growth rate than that figure.
Although the volume of consumption undergoes little change, the consumption pattern
has become diversified. On the one hand, the demand for low-price coffee is increasing as a
result of improvement of taste, on the other hand, among Arabica varieties, various niche
markets for high quality coffee, such as specialty (gourmet), fair-trade, organic or eco-friendly
coffee, are growing.
(2) Coffee in Ethiopia
The coffee production in Ethiopia for 2005/06 season is approximately 300,000 tons. This
represents the figure for the fifth largest producer in the world but accounts for only 4 % of the
world total production, having little impact on international prices. Coffee provides the principal
source of earning foreign exchange and accounts for 35 % (2005/06) of the value of exports of
Ethiopia although almost half of production is consumed in the domestic market.
3) Current situation of coffee in Ethiopia
(1) Economic liberalization and international price fluctuation
Since 1991, the EPRDF has adopted the liberalization policy on the marketing and prices
of coffee. In consequence of exchange rate liberalization, the coffee price increased
substantially for the producers paid in the local currency of birr. At the same time, however, they
have been exposed directly to the drastic fluctuation of international prices. Such a situation has
caused a great impact not only on producers but also on merchants and exporters. Owing to the
poor state of the infrastructure of road transport within the country, it takes time for the local
merchants to deliver the products to exporters. They have experienced the substantial loss at the
time of the fall of international prices due to the time they spend for internal transportation.
(2) High added value
In order to improve the overall quality, it has been well recognized that it is essential to
improve the technology of processing coffee. The national development policy for 2005 to 2009
("Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty", PASDEP) has also planned
of the assistance for technology improvement. Since we aim at contributing to high profit
agriculture, we present some of ongoing activities conducive to a higher added value of
a. Organic coffee
Regarding the production of organic coffee, Ethiopia holds a superior position to other
coffee production countries. The advantage derives from various factors: as the country where
Arabica coffee originated, it is endowed with a large population of diverse traditional varieties;
the government has also actively promoted coffee improvement; and furthermore, aided by
poverty, the rate of utilization of fertilizer has been low, so that the majority of coffee in
Ethiopia has virtually been grown organically.
As a consequence, all that is needed for the certification of organic coffee is only the cost
for the procedure of acquisition of the certificate, dispensing with all other special costs
otherwise needed for growing organic coffee. The amount of organic coffee exported from
Ethiopia in 2005 was about 9000 tons, accounting for 19 % of the total value of exports of
organic coffee in the whole world and 6 % of the total volume of exports of Ethiopia.
As the most effective means to buffer the impact of international price fluctuation, we can
cite the channel of fair-trade coffee. Although the share of fair-trade coffee in the world coffee
market is still very small, accounting for only 1 % , the market is rapidly expanding, especially
Most cases of fair-trade coffee in Ethiopia utilize the system of certification by FLO (Fair-trade Labeling Organization). Since the condition for acquisition of the certification by
FLO requires the establishment of an organization of producers, cooperatives are playing the
principal role for the fair-trade initiative in Ethiopia.
Considering that the share of fair-trade coffee in the world market still remains small, it is
difficult for Ethiopian coffee cooperatives to quickly get the share in the fair-trade market.
Besides, cooperatives, lacking sufficient operating funds on their own, can purchase only a
limited amount of products. Consequently, the volume of exports taking advantage of the FLO
certification system was estimated to remain around 5000 tons in 2005, accounting for only 3 %
of the total volume of coffee exports from Ethiopia.
As a means of transactions at equitable prices between producers and roasters or other
buyers, the auction through Internet should be taken into account. In Ethiopia, since 2005, an
Internet auction organized by a group called "eCafe Foundation" has been in operation.
Principal sellers are coffee cooperatives that are also playing the central role in fair-trade., The
combined results of 2005 and 2006 having amounted to more than US$ 430,000.
d. Trademark registration
Trademark registration is an effective means for the purpose of protecting the value of a
brand name and at the same time establishing the brand to assure the benefits. Regarding
Ethiopian coffee too, the Ethiopia Intellectual Property Office has been actively engaged since
2004 to register the trademarks of Yirgacheffe㧘Sidamo and Harrar, in many countries in the
OXFAM estimates that the trademark registration will enable the growers to increase their income by 88 million US dollars per year, but no license fees so far have been imposed in
particular. There has occurred an ironic situation that the conflicts with Starbucks and National
Coffee Association in the US regarding the trademark registration has aroused the public
interest and contributed to the increase of traded volume and the rise of prices. Moreover, the
procedure how the profit shall be returned to growers when the license fees shall be imposed is
yet to be defined at the moment.
4) Issues and potentials of Ethiopian coffee
To seek the potentials for higher profit in the coffee industry in Ethiopia, a more advanced
level of processing should be considered, rather than the export of raw beans.
However, it is difficult to launch roasting beans for ordinal beverage in Ethiopia because
of the short durability of quality (around 2 weeks) and the difficulty of blending with the
products from other countries. Hence, we should explore other uses than ordinary beverage. At
this stage, we confine the argument to the presentation of latent potentials only, citing a few
possible instances. Further study is needed to examine the feasibility and profitability of these
a. Functional food: As mentioned in Chapter 1, coffee is rich with chlorogenic acid,
effective in antioxidant effects, and mannan oligosaccharide which support the intestines to
function actively. Coffee is one of the functional foods which attract attentions in the recent
health conscious trend. There is a possibility that the selection of the varieties with high contents
of these ingredients among the diverse coffee varieties in Ethiopia would lead to the creation of
new brand commodities characterized with their health attributes. Alternatively, it may also be
worth considering to develop supplements by extracting the essence, considering the technology
of the extraction has already been in practical use.
b. Processed foods: Although at the initial stage the market will be confined to domestic
consumption or tourists, the manufacturing of products bearing the name of Ethiopian coffee,
such as coffee jelly, coffee liqueur, coffee candy, or honey of coffee flowers, would be
The feasibility research needs careful examination in collaboration with government
institutions such as the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research or the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development. Furthermore, for the practical feasibility, the collaboration
with growers will be critical. A joint effort with the Coffee Farmers Cooperative Unions, as a
leading counterpart organization, should be considered. In spite of the fact that it still suffers
from uncertainty in the aspect of logistics and sustainability, the Unions are functioning as
organizations of coffee growers, and hence, would be probably the most effective route to work
with producers at the moment.
2. Frankincense, myrrh and natural resins
Utilization of natural gums
Natural gums are milky liquid resins which are exuded by slashing barks of trees, and
quite a few of them constitute important raw materials for pharmaceutical and industrial
products. Ethiopia produces gum olibanum (frankincense)㧘gum myrrh, gum Arabic, and gum
opponex. Gum olibanum and gum myrrh are mainly used as incense goods and used to be
highly valued as medicinal products. Gum arabic is used as a raw material for adhesive agents,
food additives and as a coating substance of tablets in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. Gum
oppoponex is utilized principally as a medicine. In this section, explanation shall be focused
mainly on gum olibanum and gum myrrh that are produced in a large quantity in Ethiopia.
2) Production of natural gum resins
The tree species producing gum olibanum and gum myrrh in Ethiopia are distributed
principally in arid regions, at 200 to 500m above sea level, extending from the northeastern to
the southeastern part of Ethiopia.
The amount of actual production of natural gum resins in Ethiopia is reported to be
10,000 tons per year. On the other hand, their potential annual production is estimated to
amount to 32,010 tons, comprising 13,910 tons of gum olibanun, 8,000 tons of other gums
including gum myrrh and gum opponex, and 11,000 tons of gum arabic.
According to what has been learned through interviews with trading firms conducted by
the field survey mission, the production of gum olibanum or that of gum myrrh is liable to be
influenced by climate and is on the decrease in recent years. It is said that gum myrrh, in
particular, has been hardly produced in the past few years on account of adverse climate, and the
stock of the highest quality products has completely run out .
Gum olibanum produced in Ethiopia is classified into 5 or 6 grades, varying depending on
traders, with criteria of quality, such as the grain size, whiteness and components contents, and
the price differs according to the grade. High quality gum olbanum is defined as that with (1)
large grain㧘(2) intense whiteness㧘(3) low impurities contents㧘(4) high components contents. 3) Status of export of natural gums in Ethiopia
The number of enterprises engaged in the production of natural gum resins is 30 including agricultural cooperatives in Tigray State, principal producing area, and 14 in Amhara State. The
enterprises in the export business number about 10. From 2 companies among them, the survey
mission obtained commercial samples of gum olibanum and conducted an independent
evaluation (see Chapter 4).
Moreover, some statistics and investigations reveal that China and India import cheaper
products and countries in Europe, Middle East and Latin America import high quality products
4) Issues in the production of natural gum resins in Ethiopia
(1) Collection method dependent on manual labor and the quality
The largest part of the total labor of production of gum olibanum is devoted to its collection. It is said that 500 grams of gum olibanum are collected from a single tree of gum
olibanum. Consequently, at least 2000 trees of gum olibanum need to be treated to collect 1 ton
It should be noted that the collection work is a critical process that determines the quality of gum olibanum. Our evaluation of the quality of commercial samples of the gum olibanum
produced in Ethiopia has demonstrated that the highest ranked product "1st grade gum
olibanum" is equivalent to the lowest one "4th grade gum olibanum", as regards the inclination
of scent and the overall quality. However, the 4th grade gum olibanum contains large quantities
of impurities and is not suited to distribution in Japan (Chapter 4).
The relationship between the quality and the collection method is as follows:
(i) Collection is made directly from the resin accumulated on trees (1st grade)
(ii) Collection is made from the resin deposited on stones placed on the ground under trees
(iii) Collection is made from the resin dripping from trees and left on the ground (3rd grade)
The method (iii) cannot evade the contaminations of impurities such as sand or pebbles,
and even those by (i) and (ii) also are liable to cause contaminations while collectors wait for
the resin to exude. Furthermore, these primitive methods are influenced by winds and rains,
always subject to the risk of loosing the resin.
(2) International price competition and lack of labor
The actual production of natural gum resins in Ethiopia is only around one third of the
potential capacity of production. The main reason behind the circumstances is the fact that
efficient production methods have not yet been established and the production processes still
depend solely on manual labor in many producing areas. On the other hand, there is a situation
that because of the international price competition, producers cannot adopt a high level of wages
owing to the necessity to lower the production cost, consequently being unable to acquire
sufficient manpower. The current production system depending on human labor is caught in a
dilemma of the need to recruit labor or the need to reduce cost. Moreover, almost the total
amount of natural gum resins produced in Ethiopia is exported as raw materials, without
undergoing any secondary processing within the country. The situation like this only lowers the
profitability of the production of natural gum resins, consequently making it impossible to dare
to invest in research and development of the production technology and for the stable
recruitment of labor force.
(3) Environmental degradation and the awareness gap of people
If one looks at the social situation surrounding the production of natural gum resins, it is
recognized that the population growth in Ethiopia entailed the trend of deforestation of natural
forest and conversion to arable lands. Although universities and public agencies having sense of
crisis about the environmental degradation are trying to plant trees to produce gum olibanum
and gum myrrh, the survival rate of planted seedlings is low, and reforestation is not progressing
so fast as it has been projected. Moreover, the farmers and inhabitants in production areas who
are essentially beneficiaries of the production of natural gum resins, with respect to tree species
of the gum resins, would rather use them as sources of firewood than use them for collecting
resins in a sustainable manner. If such a situation continues, it is imaginable that in Ethiopia, too,
at some future day, grave reduction of resources of natural gum resins will become inevitable.
5) Propositions for the production of gum olibanum, gum myrrh and natural gum resins
(1) Principal products to be exported to Middle East and Europe
The international price competition is settled by the difference in capital strength. Price
competition is only temporary and, after all, products of a higher quality essentially win the
favor of market. Because Ethiopia produces high quality products that are strong in the market
in the Middle East and the West, it would be strategically preferable to focus on winning
superiority in the market by supplying high quality products.
Moreover, the resources of tree species producing gum olibanum and gum myrrh are on
the decrease in the world, and in the production areas on the coasts around the Arabian
Peninsula, the governments are actively engaged in protection and nurturing of the resources. In
the future, it is expected that gum olibanum or gum myrrh of high quality becomes difficult to
obtain. Under such circumstances, too, it will be a beneficial strategy to produce high quality
(2) Development of efficient and sure method for collection of resins
Considering the fact that the quantity of production from a plant is fixed and the available
labor is limited, it is essential to develop the method to collect all the resin exuded out of trees
without contaminations with impurities, if a higher production capacity and an improvement in
quality are to be realized. It is needed to make efforts in research and development on the means,
harvesting timing, harvesting method and collecting tools that will ensure producers to retrieve
completely the product without leaving anything. Such an approach will bring about en effect
that producers not only can make an efficient use of laborers but also can prevent inadvertent
damages and exhaustion of trees.
(3) Nurturing industry and enhancement of awareness of resources conservation
Even if the techniques for cultivation of trees for producing gum olibanum and gum
myrrh are established in Ethiopia, the loss of these resources is inevitable, unless the farmers
engaging in the production and the people living in production areas develop their own interest
in the resources of natural gum resins and possess the awareness of their conservation. Natural
gum resins in Ethiopia, promising resources in the aspect of profitability, need to be treated as
objects of the efforts for resource conservation for sustainable production. For that end, it is
required to increase the profitability of their exploitation by exporting the products after
processing them within Ethiopia, instead of, as till now, exporting them simply as raw materials.
The approach should not only be intended to provide returns to producers but also be interpreted
as a means, by developing the processing industry, to expand the base of laborers engaging in
the production of natural gum resins. It could be reasoned that the effort to increase the numbers
of people and areas committed to natural gum resins is an effective means that eventually
develops a better understanding of the importance of such resources.
The matters of replanting trees and forest management require long term planning
extending over 20 to 30 years. This period corresponds to a generation of human being.
Consequently, it is important to return to laborers and local people in a visible form the benefits
deriving from the production of natural gum resins.
1) Basic facts about eucalyptus
Eucalyptus commands a broad spectrum of utilization as a raw material for paper pulp, firewood, materials for building houses, furniture, telegraph poles, railroad crossties, pit props,
plywood, tar, etc. Moreover, its usefulness as a timber resource is related to diverse utilizations
by extraction of essential oils as raw material for paints, perfume oils, cosmetics, disinfectants,
The afforestation of eucalyptus, however, is often criticized for environmental
degradation, such as depletion of headspring function, soil deterioration, injurious effects on
other plant species by the harmful secretion from leaves, the ecological destruction due to
afforestation with a single species of eucalyptus. However, it is pointed out that these issues
would not be confined to eucalyptus, but would also exist in the afforestation with other fast
2) Eucalyptus in Ethiopia
(1) History of afforestation The history of afforestation with eucalyptus species in Ethiopia goes back as early as the era of Emperor Menelik II at the end of the 19th century. The Imperial Court until that time used
to lead a nomadic life, in which it simply repeated the cycle of exhaustion of wood vegetation
around the court, followed by migration to a next place. The living style changed as a result of
the afforestation with eucalyptus, and it enabled Addis Ababa to become the permanent capital
When Emperor Menelik II introduced eucalyptus, he tested more than ten varieties, and
among them two varieties currently have been cultivated widely, Eucalyptus globules (common
name in Ethiopia, white eucalyptus) and E. camaldulensis ( red eucalyptus).
3) International market and eucalyptus
The main usage of eucalyptus in Ethiopia is essentially for firewood and building
materials. Seeking for higher profitability, export potential should be explored. Here we would
like to examine the trend of current international market as regards the "eucalyptus oil" and
"raw materials for pulp making".
It might have a potential for eucalyptus oil because it mainly uses leaves which do not compete with existing usage. Considering that eucalyptus in Ethiopia (particularly, E. globules)
is not currently suffering from diseases or insect pests, it has high potential for organic oil.
Usage of eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from leaves and twigs by the steam distillation method. Some
species of eucalyptus are preferred for oil because of their characteristics in aroma. Principal
ussages of eucalyptus oil are for medicines and perfume.
Ԙ Usage for medicines㧦 The value of eucalyptus oil as a medicine is determined by the cineol content. For the
medical usage, it has to conform to the strict pharmacopeias based on the international standards
as well as on the standards of the consuming country. However, this part of the issue concerns
manufacturers who manage refining processes rather than the producers. While there are hundreds of Eucalyptus species containing oil, mainly 6 species constitute the principal source of eucalyptus oil. Among them, 2 species are mainly used for afforestation
in Ethiopia, E.globulusu㧘E.camaldulensis. ԙ Usage for aroma chemicals: Eucalyptus citriodora is mainly used for aroma chemicals. The unique characteristics of
the species for aroma oil lies in the content of citronellal instead of cineol for medical oil. The
aroma chemicals are used as fragrance mainly in low price soap, perfumes or disinfectants.
b. International market
China is the leading producing country, accounting for 70 % of the medical oil, and for
two thirds for the aroma oil. Although it is difficult to have accurate trade statistics , the world
market for the eucalyptus medical oil in 1991 is estimated to be about 3000 tons of production
and 2000 tons for export. As for E. citriodora for aroma, the estimated figures are 1500 tons of
production and 500 tons for export.
Principal importers are EU countries, importing 2646 tons in 1990.
International prices are greatly influenced by the production in China. The oil with
content of 80 % -cineol produced in China was quoted at US$ 6 in 1989 but the price dropped
down to as low as US$ 3 in early 1994. When a new country intends to participate in the world
market, it has to compete with the low price level of China.
Raw material for making pulp
E. globulus widely planted in Ethiopia is suited to making pulp. However, it is quite difficult to secure high profitability for producers who are mostly
small scale farmers. In order to secure the profit, the scale of cultivated area makes an important
factor. In Thailand, farmers operating eucalyptus plantations own an average of 13 ha of total
land and out of 13ha, 8 ha for eucalyptus. Unless farmers own sufficient land, they cannot opt
for cultivating eucalyptus that needs 5 years until they can harvest it. In view of the reality that
the average land area owned by farmers in Ethiopia is 1.2 ha, with 99 % of farmers owning less
than 5 ha of land, it will entail a lot of difficulties to export "eucalyptus chips" as a raw material
for making pulp.
4) Issues and potentials for eucalyptus in Ethiopia
In Ethiopia the afforestation with eucalyptus is carried out by individual small farmers or
by rural communities. The utilization is confined to firewood or materials for building houses.
Considering that no particular problems exist regarding diseases and insect pests, which allows
the organic cultivation, and that E.globulusu which is thought to be suited for producing oil is
one of the main species widely cultivated in Ethiopia, there is a potential for the production of
eucalyptus oil. Moreover, in view of the fact that the oil production makes use of leaves that are
currently discarded as wastes or partly used for fuels, it can be a new source of income for
However, it is estimated that the annual production of 40 to 50 tons of oil has to be secured to get going a processing plant. It is roughly estimated that at least 45,000 tons of fresh
leaves are needed for the production of 40 to 50 tons of oil. This is equal to 3000 ha
afforestation with eucalyptus. It might be possible, considering that the total afforested area in
Ethiopia amounts to 250,000 ha, but a more detail study should be required. Furthermore, as
shall be discussed in Chapter 4, considering the fact that Ethiopia had an experience of an
attempt to refine eucalyptus oil, it would be also important to explore a refining method
utilizing appropriate technology.
More concrete study for the distribution channels and quality is also essential. The durability of materials, especially, maintaining the quality of fresh leaves, crude oil and refined
oil, at respective stages of processing, needs to be examined, taking into account the climatic
conditions and poor transport infrastructure in Ethiopia.
Finally, although it is not confined to the case of eucalyptus, the projects with high profits agriculture demand capital. There is a high risk that the net results do not always benefit the
small peasants who really need the support, but rather end up with assisting existing investors
who already possess ample funds on their own. Therefore, careful examination is needed in
selecting a suitable target in proceeding for the collaborative activities. One of the options will
be a joint project under the collaboration with one of the cooperatives whose activities have
become more vigorous since the enforcement of ̌Cooperative Act̍㧔No.197/1998㧕.
4. Sweet wormwood
1) Anti-malarial measures by WHO and the cultivation of sweet wormwood
Recently it has been found that artemisinin contained in sweet wormwood, Artemisia annua, shows anti-malarial activity, and is more effective as an anti-malarial drug with low
toxicity compared to conventional chloroquine. Currently the most effective drug against the
drug-resistant strains of malaria parasite is a drug combining a derivative synthesized from
artemisinin. WHO is conducting a campaign to promote ACTs (Artemisinin-based Combination
Therapies) to combat the infection by malaria.
However, the drugs for ACTs are not supplied in sufficient quantities to meet the demand
from all the countries. Particularly, the drugs for WHO activities are short in supply and the
increased production of sweet wormwood used as a raw material for the drug is being desired.
2) Cultivation of sweet wormwood
In Ethiopia, the Essential Oil Research Center of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural
Research has started a research program aiming at the cultivation of sweet wormwood in the
country. For this year, it has set up 6 experimental fields throughout the country, conducting a
study to identify characteristics in order to select areas suited for the cultivation.
3) Issues on cultivation of sweet wormwood
Studies on cultivation of sweet wormwood are going on in research systems in many
countries. WHO published guidelines in March 2007 on the cultivation of sweet wormwood
(WHO Publishes guidelines on cultivating essential plant used in anti-malaria medicines. WHO
monograph on good agricultural and collection practices for Artemisia annua L.).
Since sweet wormwood is a cross-pollinating (xenogamous) plant species, variations among individual plants in artemisinin content and plant growth are great. Regarding the
artemisinin content in leaf, certain plants contain no amount of artemisinin at all, while certain
selected strains of sweet wormwood from China have a very high level of artemisinin content.
In future, in order to improve the productivity in artemisinin of the plant, it is important to breed
strains that are adapted to growing areas and have high artemisinin content.
4) Potentials for development of new types of medicines derived from sweet wormwood
It has been demonstrated that the trioxan dimers chemically synthesized from artemisinin
contained in sweet wormwood have not only high anti-malarial activity and low toxicity but
also antitumor activity. The artemisinin contained in sweet wormwood has potentials for the use
as a raw material for pharmaceutical processing not only for antimalarial agents but also for
antitumor agents, making the plant species a very promising commodity as resources for
<Annex> Potentials of ensete fiber as product of a high profit crop
Ensete (Abysinian or wild banana, also kobe in Amharic) is a plant originating from Ethiopia,
distributed widely and growing naturally in many parts of Asia and Africa. It is an herbaceous plant
resembling banana in morphological features, with the plant height sometimes reaching up to 5 m.
While it takes normally several years to grow ensete from planting seeds to harvest, it has been
domesticated only by the farmers in the southern part of Ethiopia who have developed particular
cultural techniques to grow it in a short period and harvest it in large quantity. People in Ethiopia use
as staple food the starch processed from its corm and pseudostem. Except for the use as food,
pseudostem, leafstalk, leaf and the fiber deriving from pseudostem is processed and used. In addition
to the frequent general use of its leaf as a material to wrap things in markets, the leaf is traded on a
large scale by the intervention of middlemen in certain areas.
The objective of this report is to discuss the potentials of ensete as a high profit crop, based on
the field survey carried out for some two weeks in mid-August, 2007, in the southeastern part of
Ethiopia (areas surrounding Awasa), and also on the subsequent laboratory experiment on the ensete
fiber conducted in Japan.
On the occasion of visit to the processing plants of ensete during the survey, researcher's
interest was aroused by the characteristics that the crop can be harvested all year round and it is
highly productive (estimation indicates that a single plant can satisfy the need of feeding a family of
four persons for one month). He focused his attention on the fiber which remains after starch has
been extracted. As the wives of households at Sidama that the researcher visited used iron paddles to
extract the starch, the fiber was chopped up in the process, apparently showing no signs that indicate
that any processed products which retain the state of long fiber are either shipped to markets or used
for domestic purposes. In a periodic market in a village surrounding Awasa, a bundle of fiber was
being sold for about 30 yens, but the business scale was quite small.
Here we present the characteristics of the ensete fiber, based on laboratory tests on its physical
properties. The experiment has demonstrated the following three points:
(1) The ensete fiber contains moisture of approximately the same level with that of silk and
(2) The diameter of yarn can be similar to that of silk, but the thickness of fiber itself is variable.
(3) The fiber and twisted yarn do not elongate so much as cotton. Regarding the tension strength
of two-fold yarn, cotton and ensete are almost of the same level.
Moreover, with collaboration of a fabric-dyeing artist, the fiber of ensete acquired in Ethiopia
was processed into textile yarn. The fiber was immersed in water to impregnate it with moisture. The
moist fiber fragments are pieced together and twisted to make yarn. Since this procedure enabled the
whole operation to proceed at relative ease, the processes have been organized specifically as
A bundle of fibers is divided equally into small bundles
Small bundles are immersed in water for one to two minutes.
Fibers are taken out one by one and pieced together by weaver's knot or by twisting.
While fiber fragments are being pieced together, linked fibers are twisted by spinning
wheel (chalka) to make yarns.
In succession to the above study, alternative methods of fiber processing are being
experimented, including the process of extracting fibers and that of making yarn, based on traditional
procedures. And furthermore, experiments are going on to find the method of dyeing ensete fiber by
using plant materials available in Ethiopia.
People in Ethiopia has cultivated ensete for many generations and made good use of it in their
own life. However, the utilization of ensete fiber still remains at a very low level, and its
characteristics are not yet duly appreciated and utilized profitably.
In the future, more detailed experiments on its physical properties shall be repeated to make it
possible with certainty to develop products that will make full use of its characteristics. In many
parts of Ethiopia there are currently weavers referred to as "shanmani" who are actively operating in
their profession. Therefore, it would be alternatively possible to take up an approach to develop the
products of ensete fiber and yarn, based on the conventional technologies practiced by them.
Chapter 4 Expectations for medicinal plants in Ethiopia and potentials of Japan's cooperation
1 Strategy for high profit agriculture
In order to develop the kind of agriculture that enables producers and local communities to earn sufficient profit, so-called "high profit agriculture", there are two questions to be
answered. The first one is "What to produce?", and the second, "Where to sell (market)?" In
addition to these, in the distribution process of products, the method of processing of basic raw
materials and the method of commercialization of them according to the market demand also
make up the questions.
In considering the model of high profit agriculture based on medicinal plants in Ethiopia,
the objects of production can be classified according to the countries of origin into "medicinal
plants indigenous to Ethiopia", "medicinal plants indigenous to Africa" and "medicinal plants
non indigenous to Africa" (Fig. IV-1). Medicinal plants indigenous to Ethiopia would be
easier to cultivate and put to commercial production, compared with those originating from
other regions, in view of the natural environment, climate and soil, the extent of recognition and
the state of utilization by Ethiopian people. On the other hand, as for the plant species which are
neither indigenous to Ethiopia nor cultivated there, the research and testing for determining
cultivation techniques and their extension to producers take a certain period of time, and hence
the initial investment and time will be required.
Factors of the second question, "selection of market", can be classified according to the distance to and the scale of market into "local market", "domestic market" and "international
market". The scale of these factors expands successively in the described order, and hence it is
expected that the scale of profit also expands. On the other hand, producers have to maintain the
level of production commensurate with the scale of market, and take risks corresponding to the
expanded scale. Particularly in the international market, producers are required to predict the
trend of consumers, meet their demand and conform to the international standards in terms of
safety and quality of the products.
The objective of high profit agriculture is to guarantee equitable profit corresponding to
the labor expended by actors at different stages of production/distribution, producers, regions
and the state respectively. Consequently, if the model of high profit agriculture is envisaged by
the combination of a limited number of variables comprising "products" and "market", the most
effective combination consists of the production of "medicinal plants indigenous to Ethiopia"
and the shipping of products to "international market".
Fig. IV-1 Schematic diagram of strategy for high profit agriculture
2 Realization of the production system to ensure "safety" and "quality"
The objective of the production of medicinal plants is their use for the maintenance and enhancement of health and the treatment of diseases, and their utilization as raw materials for
deriving pharmaceutical products. It is known that the forms and contained compounds of
medicinal plants vary depending on factors including cultivation techniques, harvesting time,
portions of utilization, and methods of post-harvest processes.
Because of the particularity of their use, the product safety of medicinal plants and
processed products is extremely important, requiring always the maintenance of production of
products with constant quality. Not only in Japan, but in international market, if the products
processed from medicinal plants are to be distributed, their quality needs to be controlled from
the viewpoints many of which are different from those applicable to ordinary agricultural
World Health Organization, WHO, has published monographs, "GOOD
MANUFACTURING PRACTICES, GMP (2005)" and "Quality Control Methods for Medicinal
Plant Materials, QCMMPM,(1998)", as guidelines for the cultivation and quality evaluation of
medicinal plants, promoting the quality control procedures conforming to these guidelines.
These publications have specified the standard practices that producers and enterprises have to
observe in their operation, regarding the cultivation fields, manufacturing facilities such as
factories for processing raw materials, and quality control, as the means of guaranteeing the
quality including the safety of medicinal plants and products processed from medicinal plants
used as raw materials.
In Japan crude drugs which are derived from plants and used to prepare prescribed
Chinese medicines, and raw materials for pharmaceutical products are strictly regulated
regarding their forms and quality in the Japanese pharmacopeia. Furthermore, as guidelines for
cultivation practices processing procedures, "Cultivation and quality control of medicinal
plants" has been published to promote the improvement of product quality.
As means for achieving high profit in agriculture, there are two strategies, "intensification
of production" and "high added value". Moreover, in the case of products processed from
medicinal plants, it is important to give the highest priority to "safety", and in order to achieve
this objective, it is needed to make actors comitted in the production recognize well the basic
concept of "quality control". In order to put into practice the "quality control", the
Government and public organizations have to formulate and extend the method of quality
evaluation, conforming to the guidelines of GMP and QCMMPM or the international standards.
In the case of medicinal plants, "safety" and "quality" make the highest added value, it is
evident that these properties would not only serve the objective of export to the international
market, but also lead to the improvement of health and medical services of Ethiopian people.
3 Cases of development of high profit agriculture
1) High profit agriculture drawing on medicinal plants in Ethiopia
(1) Extension of Ethiopian medicinal plants based on coffee as a key element
a. Potential value of Ethiopian coffee
Regarding many of agricultural products, Japanese people tend to appreciate highly the added value of what they call ̌things natural̍, paying high prices for such articles. Coffee
beans collected from native plants in Ethiopia, where coffee originated, are genuine ̌things
natural̍, that is an added value for which no other countries can legitimately rival.
Consequently, it would be desirable to adopt a strategy of distribution, drawing on such an
At least more than 60 strains of genetic diversity of the coffee tree have been confirmed in
Ethiopia (Brazil, major world coffee producer, has 2 strains). The number of principal coffee
producing areas in Ethiopia is 5, including Harrar, Sidamo, etc., but in view of the genetic
diversity, it is possible to create a larger number of further differentiated areas producing
The genetic diversity in Ethiopia signifies the affluence of breeding materials, suggesting
a great potential for development of new varieties in the future. Ethiopia is endowed with the
superior resources that it is able to create new varieties with taste and flavor responding to the
needs of consumers, in which no other country can compete.
Coffee from Ethiopia possesses a high added commercial value of ̌country of origin̍
and ̌affluence of genetic diversity̍ that no other country has, promising an extremely huge
potential for Ethiopian coffee.
b. Culture of Ethiopia and the use of medicinal plants as observed in "Coffee ceremony" The manner of taking coffee in Ethiopia is quite unique. Particularly, the occasion of
coffee taking arranged for receiving visitors is called "coffee ceremony", a kind of ritual and
religious formality, making one feel a culture.
In the coffee ceremony, several important medicinal plants are used. After finishing
roasting coffee beans, while visitors are entertained by fragrance of burnt scents such as gum
olibanum or gum myrrh, the water for brewing coffee is boiled together with spices like seeds of
korarima (Aframonum corrorima Jansen) added beforehand, to give it particular flavor and
aroma. Moreover, sometimes coffee is taken together with leaves of tena adam (common rue,
Ruta graveolens L.) floated in the cup. The role of coffee ceremony is not restricted to the
simple act of drinking coffee, but the ceremony represents a high level of cultural characteristic,
incorporating the sensuous pleasure of smelling fragrance of roasted coffee and burnt gum
olibanum, and ̌offering hospitality to visitors̍ through variation and elaboration of taste and
appearance by adding medicinal plants like korarima or tena adam to coffee.
c. Dissemination of Ethiopian medicinal plants by drawing on "tradition and culture" When the dietary habit and the historical and cultural background are different, it needs an ingenious method to penetrate into the market in another country and disseminate
agricultural products, particularly medicinal plants, of one country. Regarding Ethiopian
medicinal plants, one can suppose, for instance, that one intends to sell korarima in Japan. The
spice korarima uses the seed of a plant of ginger family, having a very pleasant fragrance
resembling that of cardamom.
In Japan the custom of drinking coffee has already been established and integrated into daily habit. Ethiopia is the country of origin of coffee, and besides has a characteristic culture
called "coffee ceremony". As a means to disseminate and establish Ethiopian medicinal plants
in Japan, the key to solution would be the utilization of the added value and culture that
Ethiopian coffee possesses (Fig. IV-2).
The real beginning of Ethiopian coffee lies in the coffee ceremony where Ethiopian medicinal plants are used for adding flavor. That is to say, in order to taste the authentic
Ethiopian coffee, Ethiopian medicinal plants are needed and korarima, specialty of Ethiopia,
should be used, and other medicinal plants like tena adam are also needed. If one considers
about the environment of drinking coffee, the development of burning incenses such as gum
olibanum or gum myrrh could also be expected.
Fig. IV-2 Extension of Ethiopian medicinal plants based on coffee as a key element
In order to disseminate and establish Ethiopian medicinal plants in Japan, it would be important to utilize as the base of the campaign something that is familiar to Japanese society, in
combination with the utilization of the culture and custom of Ethiopia, rather than a simple
attempt to introduce specific plants.
(2) Direct import of gum olibanum to Japan
a. Consumption and import of gum olibanum in Japan
In Japan gum olibanum is imported mainly as a raw material for making incense and processed into incense and aromatics. In recent years, modern ways of use of incense are
extending, and general consumers have developed a habit of purchasing gum olibanum. The
volume of import of gum olibanum in Japan remained at around 4500 kg annually according to
the statistics for 2000 to 2002, with the whole sale price level at ¥ 850/kg which has remained
the same in the past few years. It is said that the gum olibanum imported to Japan derives from
Sudan and Ethiopia, but because it arrives via third countries, the actual condition is not
Acoording to Mitsuboshi Pharmaceutical Company which sells gum olibanum in Japan,
the company imports annually 1000 kg, accounting for about one fourth of the total volume of
domestic distribution, and sells the commodity to domestic manufacturers as a raw material for
incense articles. The said company imports it through trading firms in Singapore, and our survey
revealed that the commodity that the company trades derives from Ethiopia. Consequently,
about one fourth of gum olibanum distributed in Japan can be considered as products of
From that finding, we proceeded to a study in which comparison is made between the gum olibanum produced in Ethiopia that we obtained during the field survey and the gum
olibanum that is distributed in Japan, to determine what sort of benefit shall be realized by
directly importing to Japan the gum olibanum that used to be imported through third countries.
b. Comparison between products of gum olibanum distributed in Japan and those
acquired in Ethiopia Field survey mission acquired a total of 7 commercial samples from 2 trading firms in Ethiopia. The evaluation of quality of gum olibanum by Ethiopian trading firms is made based
on the criteria comprising grain size, whiteness, extent of contamination by impurities, and
compound content. The products acquired included 6 samples ranging from the top quality
product of "1st Grade ‘A'" to the lowest one of "4th Grade ‘Normal'" provided by the Company
A, and one product of "Grade B", corresponding to the standard average quality by the
Company B. In addition to these 7 samples, we obtained one sample that is in circulation in
Japanese market, and conducted the evaluation of their quality with the cooperation of
Mitsuboshi Pharmaceutical Company.
As over-all evaluation, it has been demonstrated that the products of gum olibanum that
have been acquired by the field survey mission in Ethiopia and rated as "1st Grade" and "2nd
Grade" are of the quality equivalent or superior to that of products in circulation in Japanese
market. Moreover it has been concluded that the products which are rated within the range from
"1st Grade" to "3rd Grade" are eligible for distribution in Japan, but those which are rated as "4th
Grade" or below contain too much impurities and are not suited for distribution in Japan.
c. Advantage of the gum olibanum imported directly from Ethiopia to Japan
Local market prices of the samples of gum olibanum acquired by the field survey mission
were, in US$ for 1000 kg of each class of products, 2450 for 1st Grade "A", 1850 for 1st Grade
"B", 1750 for 2nd Grade, 1400 for 3rd Grade, 1050 for 4th Grade "Special", and 850 for
4th Grade "Normal", respectively. Since the whole sale price in Japan is ¥ 850 per kg (equivalent
to about US$ 8000 per 1000 kg), even if the expenses for importing procedures are taken into
account, the transaction by importing the commodity directly from Ethiopia to Japan would be
more profitable in terms of prices. In addition to that aspect, the direct import has the following
two points as advantages.
Original country of production is clearly defined. Merchandise has better fragrance.
Regarding the direct import of gum olibanum, Japanese trading firms concerned are now
studying positively the approach.
(3) Issues involved in handling the merchandise imported from Ethiopia Although Japan imports a large number of crude drugs and medicinal plants produced in Africa, the direct transactions between producing countries and Japanese enterprises handling
those crude drugs rarely take place (Table IV-1). The most important reason for the situation is
the lack of information about African countries, for which enterprises tend to avoid the risks
involved in direct transactions.
If a sufficient amount of reliable business information is provided to Japanese enterprises on such aspects as results of inquiries by interviews with trading firms of Ethiopia or the
methods of acquisition of samples of authentic origins, it would be very likely that the contact
points between Ethiopia and Japanese enterprises shall be established and new business
opportunities shall emerge.
When one intends to promote the export of medicinal plants and their processed products
from Ethiopia to Japan, it is essential to provide a sufficient amount of reliable information to
trading firms and related organizations specialized in crude drugs, and to establish a system to
support the activities in Ethiopia. Since Japan applies the standards of quality of medicinal
plants used for crude drugs, in the form of Japanese Pharmacopoeia (JP), it is needed to satisfy
the requirements specified in JP, when the medicinal plants produced in Ethiopia are to be
commercialized in Japan. Consequently, regarding the medicinal plants used as crude drugs in
Japan, it would be desirable that the growers benefit from the cooperation by Japanese trading
firms from the stage of production or commercialization.
Table IV-1 Principal medicinal plants Japan imports from African countries
Plant species of origin
Willd. Solidified resin
and species of same exuded from
Aloe ferox Mill. Or Dried material
ahybrid between this
species and Aloe africana
Aloe spicata Baker
Aroe-bera Aloe vera (L.) Burm.fil.
Mesophyll tissue Edible
Theobroma cacao L.
Jateorhiza columba Miers
Kombe arrow Sutorofantusu
Strophanthus kombe Oliv.
Cassia angustifolia Vahl.
Cassia acutifolia Delile
Syzygium aromaticum (L.)
Merr. et L. M. Perry
"Phar" signifies that the species is registered in Japanese Pharmacopoeia for the use as a crude drug.
2) High profit agriculture in Ethiopia through introduction of medicinal plants
of foreign origin
(1) Production of crude drugs in Ethiopia
Here, we consider high profit agriculture when medicinal plants indigenous to
non-African countries are to be introduced into Ethiopia.
The whole area around Awasa city, located about 300 km to the south of capital Addis
Ababa is chosen as an assumed area of development.
This area is situated 1500-2000m above see level, receiving annual precipitation of
around 700mm, and lying on the alkaline soil.
In Ethiopia as a whole, it is difficult to acquire fertilizers, chemicals and agriculture
materials in sufficient quantities. Besides, since one cannot expect that the chemicals locally
available satisfy sufficiently the standards of safety and quality required in Japan, it is needed to
explore rather the way to dispense with chemicals.
For these reasons, the requirements for candidate medicinal plants of foreign origin are
the tolerance to arid and alkaline soil and characteristics allowing extensive cultural practices.
Moreover, those medicinal plants which are in great demand in Japanese or global market are
desirable. As candidate species satisfying these requirements, mahuang (Joint-pine, Ephedra
spp.), liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and sweet wormwood㧔Artemisia annua㧕are considered to
be promising (See Chap. 3).
Plants of genus Ephedra range in many parts of the world, in addition to dry climates over
China and Inner Mongolia, numbering about 80 species. The dried above ground portions of
mahuang are utilized as a crude drug mahuang, with remedial effects to induce sweating,
alleviation of fever, antitussive activity and urination, and prescribed as an ingredient of drugs
for common cold like antifebrile infusion. In the U.S.A., the extract of mahuang is sold as a
Liquorice is a perennial leguminous plant distributed over the dry zone extending from
China and Inner Mongolia to Middle East. The portion used as a crude drug is its underground
parts, and it is an important one used for detoxification, diuretic effect and pain relief, contained
as an ingredient in many prescriptions. The most of consumption in Japan is used as an added
sweetener to soy sauce and other foods, and the demand in the West as a sweetener is also great.
(2) Necessity of the production of crude drugs, "mahuang" and "liquorice"
Japan depends on import from China for the supply of the most of mahuang and liquorice it needs. Currently in China, due to the rapid economic growth, the domestic consumption of
these plants also is increasing. Moreover, the abusive collection of liquorice in the northwest of
China has intensified and is deteriorating the habitat of the herb. Such plants as Mahuang and
liquorice grow wild in arid zones and wastelands in China, and the production has been made
exclusively by gathering native species. However, the Chinese government has started to
regulate the gathering and exports of mahuang and liquorice to protect the plant resources.
Under such circumstances, it is getting difficult to acquire inexpensive mahuang and liquorice
of good quality that Japan used to import from China so far. Regarding liquorice, from the
viewpoint of diversification of risk, a Japanese trading firm has introduced seeds or seedlings
and production techniques to Australia and started to grow the plant on a commercial scale.
(3) Issues in the production of crude drugs in Ethiopia
As issues in the production of mahuang and liquorice in Ethiopia, three subjects can be
taken up: "acquisition of seeds and seedling"; "development of cultural techniques"; and
"conformity to standards stipulated in Japanese Pharmacopoeia." The plant from which a crude
drug is derived is stipulated in JP. Consequently, it is needed to acquire the seeds and seedlings
of the kind of plant that conforms to the stipulation of JP, and to grow it. In order to grow exotic
plants, it is needed to conduct research work to determine basic conditions such as suitable
geographical areas for cultivation, the seasons of planting and harvesting, etc.
An essential issue is the necessity of conformity to the stipulations of JP with respect to
the product form and the contents of ingredients, when the merchandise is to be marketed in
Japan. In the selection of varieties, it is necessary to consider not only the advantages in growth
and yield, but also other factors such as the contents of ingredients that are included in the
criteria of quality stipulated by JP.
Research Center for Medicinal Plant Resources, National Institute of Biomedical
Innovation preserves the seeds and seedlings of the plants origin of mahuang and liquorice, and
has developed the cultural practices in Japan and published a series of booklets, "Cultivation of
medicinal plants and evaluation of quality". Regarding the two issues, acquisition of seeds and
seedlings, and basic study on cultural techniques, Japan is in the position to be able to extend
technical cooperation and assistance.
Regarding the production of crude drugs in Ethiopia, the ultimate success will largely
depend on the cooperation by the enterprises associated with crude drugs, who are the
consumers in Japan. It would be necessary in the future to exchange views with the enterprises
associated with crude drugs in Japan on the matters of quality and marketing.
Chapter V Propositions on marketing
- Potentials as observed through field survey -
In the study of the high profit agriculture, an indispensable element in the grand
framework of approach is the question of supply and demand. Unless the supply and demand is
well balanced, the final result would be jeopardized. Consequently, it is essential to determine
if the potential of demand can be expected.
Here the present writer would like to explain the concept of marketing as a common
matter. Moreover, the means and method for project development shall also be presented.
㧨5 principal elements 㧪 (1) To whom
(Discovery, creation, identification,
(2)What (Products) (3)Through what (Channel
(4)How to impress (Communication) (5)How to provide (Logistics
㧨Procedure㧪 (1) Marketing Research
Not market but marketing.
(2) Product Planning Design, package, etc. (3) Production Planning
Consider fabrication processes, efficiency, etc.
Grouping and serialization of articles
How to exhibit, tools for direction, POP.
Slot allocation, presence enhancement
(7) Sales Promotion
Story, concept, naming, catch copy,
Diagram 1. visualizes the approach for undertaking a new project, firstly by extracting the
overlapped parts of what one wishes to do, what one should do, and what one can do. There
happens more often than not the situation that what one wishes to do predominates over the
other factors, causing difficulties in actual execution.
What should be noted is the requirement of "Identification of the state of one's own
company" in the diagram 2, "Procedure of project development". This concerns the analysis of
strength and weakness that can be applied to all sorts of things. It is advisable that one takes
inventory of one's own situation by sorting out the strong points and the weak ones. It's all the
better if one simply expands the strength. As to the weakness, one can either eliminate it or
transform it. The transformation requires a grand idea, and if this could be done, it surely would
bring about the best result.
On the other hand, there is another method of development that is CI method. This is the
one in which the concept is developed through the steps of MI, BI and VI. Thus, it is essential to
finalize the decision by going step by step starting from the top, rather than starting immediately
from the step VI/(Making field, making product).
2) In undertaking the project in Ethiopia
(1) Development in the subsidiary industries !
It is important to visualize the stages of industrial development in plural terms.
Many products and services are delivered to the final consumers after passing through
several industrial stages. These processes are called distribution where the tertiary industry that
is situated the closest to consumers and practicing retailing is called distributive trade, and
generally the higher the order of industrial stages advances from the primary through the
secondary to the tertiary, the higher becomes the added value realized. It is the most desirable
for the business not only to operate in the primary industry but also to integrate plural stages of
the secondary and the tertiary industries into the same enterprise structure.
Moreover, as the destinations of supply of medicinal plants the following markets are
supposed: (i) foods㧘(ii) restaurants㧘(iii) health foods㧘(iv) pharmaceuticals㧘(v) cosmetics㧘
(vi) spa and beauty salons㧘(vii) herb and aroma therapy㧘(viii) hobby and general merchandise㧘
(ix) interior decoration, etc. It is desirable to engage in activities to supply products as the
goods that have been transformed as much as possible to approach the finished articles,
targeting and conforming to these markets. This is because the added value will surely augment
by the strategy.
(2) Project development integrating 4 principal business elements
Men, object, money and information are said to be the four principal elements of business. In the domain of business, the stable success is achieved only when these elements are
combined to work to the fullest extent respectively. In whatever industry at whatever stage of
the industry, this is an essential condition.
Men: Performance differs greatly depending on the level of awareness of each one. It is
necessary to arouse "motivation" by thorough education and guidance.
Thing: It is also necessary to conduct study and research of the market which potentially
generates demand and to propose products to it.
Money: The most economical proposition and idea are desirable. It concerns so-called ingenuity
Information: Information is the most important element. It is desirable to provide in a
consistent manner the information to answer the questions: (i) Through what kind of
distribution channel? (ii) In what kind of market? (iii) For what price㧫 (iv) What kind of
competition is found there? (v) How one's products are evaluated and accepted? In other
words, the essence of the matter may be the creation of "merchants" rather than "producers".
The above statement presents the fundamental concept of the marketing proposition for
3) Proposition to Ethiopia – from the viewpoint of marketing
Coffee is reputed to have originated in Ethiopia. The best policy of business is the
exploitation of strength. What about the commercialization of this commodity? It is said that
there exist 60 species and varieties of coffee plants in Ethiopia. Here lies an enormous business
opportunity. However, until now, for historical reasons, the commodity has been distributed
only under a unified brand name of "Mocha". The proposed innovation is "branding" in which
Ethiopian growers create "products" under their own brand names, instead of, as in the past,
shipping out simply crude beans or at best dried and sorted beans. That strategy will enhance the
added value without fail. The strategy also correlates this approach with "One-Village
One-Product" movement. However, the distribution sector is a strictly disciplined entity, and
particularly abhors skipping of existing distribution stages. Consequently, producers have to
continue to supply the commodity also to existing channels. They increase the production and
transform the surplus into products for the new channel. This will enable them to evade the
deterioration of relationship with existing customers. In the meantime, they establish their own
brand to try to exit from the existing distribution system which is limitlessly akin to the primary
industry, and to try to venture upon the veritable secondary industry. There would emerge a
new opportunity to develop into "One-Village One-Product", "One-State One-Product" and
even "One-Country One-Product" perspective.
The procedures of preparation of merchandise and distribution would be as follows.
Although the ideal process up to the preparation of marketable products would be like the
one on the left, this is not necessary at the moment. The flow on the right would suffice.
Remove pulp ↓ Increase harvest of beans Essentials Wash ↓ 㧖Washing process requires installation. ↓ Remove pulp Adoption of dry process Dry
↓ 㧖Sorting under hygienic conditions, using
㧖Conditions for sorting, grading,
↓ weighing, packaging are similar to
↓ Roast sorting Sort㨯Grading ↓ 㧖Necessary machinery and equipment are ↓ Sort㨯Grading as follows:
↓ Roaster㧔electric heater and
↓ WeighPack motor-driven unit is desirable, but if
WeighPack ↓ unavailable, frying pan and charcoal ↓ Pack㨯Export will do㧕
Weighing scale, tools .
Package materials, desiccant, sealer.
Lot labels, product labels
Cartons for export
㧖Others: processing plant and export
If crude beans are available, the preparation of merchandise will be completed in 3 to 4
months. The prices could be determined taking into account the cost and the results of market
research. The remaining question would be to find the purchaser. In reality, this step of finding
the purchaser is an important problem. However, this problem is solved easily as long as there is
an enterprise willing to cooperate. It has been reported that the brand name of "Forest Coffee"
has received an international certification, which has further added an advantage.
There are many stories and catch copies. "Country of origin of coffee", "Organic forest
coffee", "Morning-picked", "Charcoal-roasted", "Manually roasted", "Forest cooperative",
etc. The rest is just the practice.
Furthermore, in Ethiopia, as described before, coffee is taken in diverse manners. Among those, there were two distinct ways of coffee consumption that are presumed to be supported by
Japanese consumers. They are "tea with coffee" and the taking of coffee together with herbs.
The former is an epoch-making way of enjoying both coffee and tea simultaneously. If two
beverages are served in glasses in two stages that look pretty and present a feast for the eyes,
they will make the most fashionable drinks. Moreover, the latter holds the possibility of
blending various kinds of herbs with coffee. It is possible to use Ethiopian herbs and promote
the sales in a framework of dual virtue of beauty and health.
(2) Herbs and essential oils
Japan has quite a large market for herbs and related goods used for aromatherapy. Regarding the aromatherapy using essential oils, although its history is only half as long as that
using herbs, it is developing rapidly and the market scale currently stands at 79 billion yens
(2005). The market of this size cannot be overlooked. Furthermore, sub-sectors deriving from
this market include also cosmetics and spa/esthetic industries. Raw materials used in such
industries are herbs and essential oils.
Casual observation shows the existence of a large number of herbs in Ethiopia. There is a
possibility to enhance the profitability of these plants by studying the feasibility of mass
production of a certain number of species among them. For those species which do not exist
there yet, it is worthwhile to try to cultivate them if they can be planted.
b. Essential oils
Essential oils are the products derived from herbs by extraction. The methods for
extraction are diverse but the representative one is the steam distillation process. This process
has a huge potential. A distillation plant was found abandoned at the Research Center for
Essential Oils in Awasa. It appears that it used to be operated by French men until about 50
yeas ago to extract essential oils from eucalyptus.
In the distillation plant, we found built-in distillation equipment, 2 units of something like
a furnace with capacity of 2 tons, as well as a mobile unit of distillation equipment that could be
transported on a trailer to Eucalyptus farms to operate in-situ. The presence of such a facility
seems to indicate that in the past a considerable quantity of essential oils used be extracted. In
addition to eucalyptus, Ethiopia has many of other herbs. It is certain that the added value
realized by the extraction shall be much higher than the production of herbs alone. It is an
unwise policy not to use this facility. There was no trace of destruction. It is considered that
minor repairs would restore its complete function.
Ensete is a valuable source of starch and used also as a staple food in Ethiopia. There is a
possibility of creating business by exploiting its fibers. Actually, floor cushions and mats woven
from ensete fibers are being sold. A certain private trader is trying to make a fabric consisting of
50 % of ensete fiber and 50 % of sisal fiber, which is apparently intended for making flour bags.
It needs some researches to find out a suitable material to combine with ensete, but if it is
processed into twisted yarn, particularly long yarn, the utilization will expand. It may be used to
make interior goods naturally, but possibly may find application further in apparel products.
Incidentally, this reporter was told that ensete had insect repellant properties. If it is true
and the research can demonstrate the effect and function, another big potential will emerge. As
interior goods, a great many products such as curtain cloth, luncheon mats, carpets, bed covers,
entrance hall mats, etc, can be developed, combining the effect and function as added value. Of
course there is an alternative way of utilization by improving the present line of products of
fibers as handicraft articles. If their quality is refined to the level of artifacts, the potential is
d. Roadside outlets of village produce
In the efforts to extend diverse technologies on project sites, in order to motivate the
participating farmers, the best tactics is to let them get the taste of success.
To realize it, it is necessary to let them sell products on their own. For the purpose, why not
establish a roadside outlet of village produce? It is a means to give participant farmers a place
The approach and concept are as follows:
A. As a pilot facility, construct a roadside outlet of village produce.
An area paved with concrete is needed. Rules for utilization of the facility need to be
established, to prohibit the entrance of animals (cows, goats, chickens, etc) except hand carts.
Animals are kept in backyards, like a car parking lot. Drainage, toilet, large washing area,
garbage dump, and stage (for holding events), etc are constructed.
B. Construction of stores for participant farmers.
Shacks or a row house will do, as long as they can provide a shelter against rains and
C. Let participants choose store names, feature stores with personal ideas, like playing shop
Why is it needed to construct a new one? Because changing things is difficult in
existing circumstances. Modification would be difficult to make, and probably there should be
someone who already has been in control of the whole situation. The new project would not
proceed, due to the conflict with existing interests.
The roadside outlets thus created shall be developed in the future as follows:
These places serve as an event square. If possible, it is desirable that they would have
unique features representing particular ethnic groups or regions. They shall become the places
not only to exhibit local specialties but also to present the "pageantry" of respective ethnic
groups and communities.
e. Other potentials
Other potentials are concisely described.
Honey 㧦This commodity has a huge potential. The remaining questions could be simply
the matter of packages and stories (giving significance).
Bees wax 㧦 Currently, industrialized countries are developing the candle boom.
Particularly those deriving from natural substances are highly appreciated. Explore the
opportunity and participate in the boom.
Jam 㧦Materials can be strawberries or mangoes or whatever's available. The process is
simple, needing only to bottle.
Fruit sweets 㧦Ordinary semi-dried fruits. They can be made by sun drying. Packing is
Japan Association for International Collaboration of Agriculture and Forestry
Akasaka KSA Bldg., 8-10-39 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan Tel: +81-3-5772-7880 Fax: +81-3-5772-7680
Mineralium Deposita (2003) 38: 953–967DOI 10.1007/s00126-002-0342-z Klaus Germann Æ Volker Lu¨ders Æ David A. BanksKlaus Simon Æ Jochen Hoefs Late Hercynian polymetallic vein-type base-metal mineralizationin the Iberian Pyrite Belt: fluid-inclusion and stable-isotopegeochemistry (S–O–H–Cl) Received: 16 January 2002 / Accepted: 16 November 2002 / Published online: 6 February 2003 Springer-Verlag 2003
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