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We avail high-quality Ethiopia fenugreek to the local and international market. The spice is mainly sourced from family growers across the country.
Also referred to as Abish in Amharic, Ethiopia fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant cultivated yearly. The plant thrives in semiarid conditions and is a perfect fit for the country located on the Horn of Africa that often experiences long drought phases. Seed and leaves of Fenugreek are used as a spicing agent for various cuisines. India ranks among the biggest producers of the plant with one of its state Rajasthan accounting for over 80% of the total harvest. It is also grown extensively in several North African countries, Yemen as well as Southern Europe. Bushy leaves with a blue-green color characterize it. Its highly concentrated Sotolon nutrient-fenugreek principal extraction induces an incredible sweet odor to seeds and leaves of the plant. Sotolon’s pungently composition is so strong that it comes only second to capsaicin in pepper.
Apart from food seasoning, Fenugreek is also used to generate substantial cash for the local households. In 2017 its total export value hit USD 1,651. This revenue stood for both ground and whole fenugreek seeds.
The origin of Fenugreek dates back to modern-day Turkey or Syria. The plant is said to have been domesticated first in Mesopotamia at unspecified times while the inaugural plant grew in in Iraq around 4000 B.C. It later found its way to Mediterranean, North Africa, and West Asia before spreading to Ethiopia.
Fenugreek constitutes iron at 186 percent of the daily value. The iron helps shield the human body from anemia. For every 100 grams of the spice, it comes with an unsaturated fat margin of 6 grams which makes it good for heart health. Fenugreek leaves contain 100% of the daily needs of dietary fiber. Their intake enhances digestion. It also comes with vitamin C content, vitamin B-6 content of 30% in each serving. The later promotes cell metabolism.
Ethiopians use its dried or fresh leaves as herbal medicine to treat diabetes. It has unique amino acid (4HO-Ile) elements that are linked to the prevention of diabetes. Fibres in the plant prevent certain cancers while it also aids in weight loss. It does this by suppressing appetite and reducing the digestion of carbohydrate.
Local breastfeeding mothers also use it to increase breast milk flow. Indians eat Fenugreek leaves as vegetables.
A considerable chunk of Ethiopia Fenugreek is channelled to the international markets as seeds. The surplus is availed in the ground form which naturally prolongs the shelf life. The other form is that of extracts.
Cultivation Requirements & Areas of Production
Ethiopia Fenugreek usually has ripe fruit. The plant grows 30-60 cm tall and its beaked pods which are usually slender 10-15 cm long. The pods contain 3mm long which are yellowish brown.
The plant is extensively cultivated in the Shewa regions and the country’s eastern dry parts. The required growing conditions for the plant include hot and warm climates with temperatures ranging from 50 to 90 F (10 C to 32 C).
Fenugreek is grown in lands less than two acres for export and subsistence. Growers apply organic farming means where they only use farmyard manure to enhance soil fertility. It not only subsequently helps improve their yields but also ensures the produce is grown using natural means.
Growers harvest Ethiopia fenugreek using phytosanitary processes. They don full PPE and begin by picking the mature from the plant by hand. The scissors and snippers to cut the stalks near the base of the pod. This exercise is conducted carefully to prevent seeds from spilling. The tools are disinfected thoroughly before this exercise commences.
Threshing is done manually using hands. Growers first wear gloves after sanitizing them. They then rub the pods between their hands and spill the seeds into a basket. The seeds are subsequently transferred to bags with polyethylene linings-provide proper climatic travel conditions or gunny sacks. In cases where the leaves are not dried, they are stored temporarily.
Ethiopia fenugreek is stored in glass jars, PET tins or jute bags with foil linings. The jars are tinted brown thus they reduce entry of light. This helps the by-product to retain and prolong aroma, color, and its freshness.
Ethiopia fenugreek is stored at temperatures not exceeding 5 degrees Celsius. Airtight containers are also used for storage to retain the freshness of the leaves. The cargo is transported to the Bola International airport in Addis Ababa using custom trucks. They are fitted with refrigerated interiors which helps conserve the base moisture usually lessened to optimum levels.
Transportation to the airport is done on the same day of harvest. The cargo reaches the client in 1-2 days
The growth of Ethiopia fenugreek without commercial fertilizers or chemical sprays has enhanced the appeal of the crop to the international market. Farmers are placed in co-operative systems which help them acquire Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certificates. This has made fenugreek from the horn of Africa, a darling for exporters. Consumer value equation has changed. Nobody wants to buy a product that will tamper with their health. Customers are willing to pay premium prices for organically produced products. Make your order.
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