Oil seeds are the most important export crop in terms of volume and it is the second largest export earning for the country. Oil seeds play a significant role in the lives of Ethiopian agrarian community and stakeholders in the national economy in Ethiopia.
Sesame seed is locally known as "selit". Among the oil crops of Ethiopia, sesame seed commands a leading position because it is highly adapted to arid & semiarid low land environment and yields well. There are two types of sesame seed in Ethiopia :-
Whitish Humera Type: has good demand in the world market & known for its top quality. Also used as a reference for grading in the international market
Wellega Type: which is mixed and brownish in color.
Niger seed is locally known as "Noug". It is an oilseed crop that is mainly cultivated in Ethiopia. The spices constitutes approximately 50% of Ethiopian oilseed production. It's oil is extracted for human consumption as a cooking oil.
Linseed (flax seeds) is locally known as " Telba". It has been one of the traditional crops in Ethiopia. It is a multipurpose crop grown in many environments for food feed, fiber and industry use. Ethiopia is the fifth linseed producer in the world.
Safflower seed is locally known as "suf". It is a dual purpose crop. The seeds are used as an oil crop and the petals for extracting dyes.
Castor seed is locally known as "Gulo". It grows naturally and abundantly in the highland of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is highly suitable for castor seed production. It is known for it's flavor and nutritional value as it is mostly produced organically.