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Ethiopia coriander is also known as the (Coriandrum sativum L.).The locals refer to it as dembilal in one of their local languages Amharic. Cilantro is one of the essential products for the country in both its domestic and external spice trade.
Origin and Overview
Its origin dates back to 2618 years ago in the Mediterranean and Western Asian regions. Coriander is one of the most widely used spicing agents in the world particularly in parts of the Middle East and Southern Asia.
In appearance, its stems grow upwards while the leaves take different shapes while growing. However, they are a bit rounder in shape, slightly green and not pointed.
Before it produces seeds it flowers. Its flowers are white or very pale pink and have small petals around them. The fruits are oval shaped, yellow-brown with two seeds in them.
The taste of its leaves is described as very strong. They have a warm, spicy flavor which has a bit of a citrus feel.
Data shows that the country exported $ 155.6K worth of ground, not ground or crushed coriander. The United Arab Emirates is Ethiopia’s largest market for the produce.
The whole coriander plant is important starting from its raw green leaves to its seeds. Locals use its seeds to complete a spice mixture called ‘berbere’ that seasons different kinds of dishes. They also mix them with porridge, cheese, and their traditional bread ‘injera.’
Its leaves are used to flavor vegetable and meat dishes while still fresh from the field.
Globally, coriander is used for medicinal plus culinary purposes, to manufacture perfume, food, and beverages.
What are its exported forms?
It is exported in ground, not ground or crushed forms.
Coriander health benefits range from prevention of lung and cavity cancer because it is rich in Vitamin K while another subsequent Vitamin A aids in the curing of the Alzheimer’s disease. It also improves digestion in the human body and neutralizes bad cholesterol and supplements it with good cholesterol.
The export form of Ethiopia broccoli is either fresh or frozen. The frozen option maintains the same nutrients as the raw form but extends the shelf life. The third form is that of canned vegetables, but only a few companies explore the option.
There are several varieties of coriander.
• Sadhana (CS-4)-Usually cultivated in areas with plenty of rainfall.
• Sadhana-Characterized by a bushy appearance and grows up to 70cm tall.
• Other varieties include Swathi, Sindhu, Sudha (LCC-128), APHU Dhania-1 (LCC-170) and Suguna (LCC-236).
Ethiopia coriander does well in areas with an average annual rainfall of 563-1018 mm. Temperatures on the other hand range from 7.9 °C and 24.3°C, respectively. The crop is mostly farmed in the Arsi Zone located in the southeast region of Ethiopia. Water is a crucial component for the germination of coriander and farmers seek alternative methods such as irrigation to sustain their crops in instances where there is prolonged drought. Farmers mostly apply traditional farming methods such as the use of organic manure to ensure the end product is natural and conforms to the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
Coriander takes 3, 4-5 months to mature and be ready for harvesting. A lot of caution is observed when it comes to harvesting. When the fruit is harvested while unripe, it has an unpleasant smell. On the other hand, leaving it too late to harvest causes the seeds to shatter leading to huge losses of produce. Farmers commence the process very early in the morning or late in the evening when there is dew curtail shattering of seeds. The fruits are then placed in the open to dry up in the tropical sun. They are then beaten lightly to obtain the seeds then dried again before storage. Storage temperatures of seeds and fresh leaves are maintained at 0° Celsius. This helps retain the green chlorophyll-rich color of the leaves and also the produces’ natural aromatic smell. Its longevity also extends to three weeks.
Packaging depends on the form of export. Fresh forms are placed in clamshells beforehand before transferring them into packaging boxes. Each box carries a bunch of 12-24 pieces and has polyethylene linings to prevent moisture which is essential in maintaining the freshness of coriander during transit.
Transportation of the fresh coriander or its seeds is undertaken under designated vans to the airport in Addis Ababa. The vans are customized in such a way that they contain refrigeration systems to help the product last for long and retaining its quality before reaching the airport where shipping takes place.
Farmers observe all Global Good Agricultural (GAP) requirements when cultivating Ethiopia coriander. This has helped the country to avail high-quality coriander to the local and external markets year in year out. The country situated at the horn of Africa prides itself with producing some of the best corianders globally.
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