Spice Production, Marketing, and Utilization in South Wollo, Ethiopia

  • Tiru Tesfa
  • Wondimu Bayu
  • Arega Gashaw
  • Hassen Beshir


Spice crops have been produced and used in Ethiopia from time immemorial. Ethiopia has varied agro ecologies that support the growing of a wide variety of spice crops. Several indigenous and exotic spice crops are cultivated widely in the country by smallholder farmers. The spice sub-sector has immense potential for economic development and poverty reduction in the country. However, the potential of the sub-sector has not been fully exploited and the production and use of the crop has not received sufficient research and extension. Nevertheless, there is very high potential to produce and use spice crops in south Wollo. Farmers are growing different types of spice crops at a very small scale in the region. The climate and soils are suitable for producing the crops. However, farmers’ efforts to produce, use, and trade the crop has not been sufficiently supported by extension services. Therefore, a study was conducted in 2004/2005 to elucidate the potential of the production, use, and marketing of spice crops in South Wollo. Data were collected from spice growers, traders and key informants mainly experts from the offices of agriculture. The survey was administered on a total of 545 respondents which includes 480 spice growers, 45 spice traders and 20 key informants using a multi-stage sampling technique. The study analyzed and mapped the potentials, opportunities and constraints of spice production, utilization and marketing in South Wollo. The study also revealed that there is high price variability. Price is not set by the commonly known demand and supply balance, but by traders. The study further demonstrated that spice crops have immense production potential which could contribute to the economic development of the farming community. Hence, it is recommended that spice production, utilization and marketing in South Wollo needs to be strongly supported by research and extension.

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