Teff Update 2020

Teff is a staple food crop of Ethiopia, having originated and diversified there. It has been introduced to South Africa where it is cultivated as a cover and forage crop while it is cultivated as a cereal crop in Northern Kenya. The international teff market is expected to grow at the rate of 12.3% in the forecast period 2020 to 2027. This grain can be effortlessly combined in a low-calorie diet, vegetarian meals, stamina bars, and wholesome snacks – these attributes makes teff an ideal plant-based substitute over other alternate products available during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027.

Currently, Ethiopia is the largest teff producing country, producing 90 percent of the world’s teff, however it is not among the biggest teff exporters in the world. This is due to manifold reasons, one of which is the fact that teff cultivation is not yet at par with modern means of production.  It is the only country to have adopted teff as a staple crop and has the highest teff diversity globally. This ancient grain is a staple for 50 million people in the country with citizens across 7 million households working together to harvest the grain, which covers over 3 million acres of land in Ethiopia. However, the teff market here is limited by the government’s export ban. Instead, other countries such as USA are increasingly participating in the teff market.

As well locust devouring the teff crops in East Africa and the Middle East, dramatic temperature increases projected in Ethiopia by 2070 could force farmers to grow it only in mountainous areas at higher altitudes, driving down production at a time when food is already scarce and the population is rising. Teff, however, has secrets hidden within its DNA. For the first time, scientists have mapped the grain’s massive diversity, consisting of 3,850 known types. Each has unique characteristics, or “traits,” allowing them to cope with different environmental conditions. Farmers may be able to combat this by combining low-yielding types cultivated in hot areas, with highly productive types grown in cold areas, to get a highly productive, heat-tolerant grain.

Teff contains high and unique nutritional values, which will meet the need of health-conscious consumers. Retail prices of Teff, which had recorded atypical increases between December 2019 and March 2020, increased firmly again in April 2020. This increase could be due to production not being able to keep up with the fast-growing market demand.

Tradelink International has close monitoring of every stage of our production process from cultivation to processing and even up to final delivery. Packaging is usually specified by the customer, although our most common method is 1000kg tote bags. Please email us at sales@tradelinksa.com if you would like more information!