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Natural Gum Production and Marketing

 

  1. Product Description: Natural gum is a type of gum which we call “etan” in Amharic. The gum is obtained from a tree which grows in low land areas characterized by warm to hot temperature and limited rainfall. The domestic use for natural gum is for making incense by burning the dry gum and creating smoke. In foreign countries, the gum is used for different purposes and this may be the main reason why natural gum is exported.

 

  1. Market Potential: There is a strong demand for natural gum both at the last 10 years; the volume of natural gum export from Ethiopia has increased substantially. As a result, finding natural gum trees in remote areas, protecting, the trees and growing now trees have increased. Natural gum trees grow naturally in the Western parts of the Amhara region. These trees grow in Awi, West and East Gojam and North Gondar zones. Since there are captive markets (domestic and foreign) for natural gum, growing natural gum trees in a commercial scale can be a financially rewarding nature.

 

  1. Potential Farm Sites: Localities in Awi, East and West Gojam and North Gondar zones along the Western edge of the region will be the main sites for starting natural gum tree plantation.

Amount of Natural Gum Export and Value

Year

Quantity (ton)

Value (USD)

1999

1,594

2,134,389.60

2000

2,079

2,807,408.80

2001

2,209

2,777,111.90

2002

2,377

2,046,930.30

2003

2,720

4,128,163.30

                          Source: Demel and Mulugeta (2005).

  1. Process and Technology: A plantation farm for growing natural gum trees is similar to any other tree plantation nature. It will require acquisition of land preparation and development of the land, planting and nurturing the trees, harvesting the gum which is done by extracting a semi liquid substance form the trunks (steams) of the trees, drying, grading and packing the gum.



  1. Estimated investment: For a 200 hectare of natural gum tree plantation, the estimated investment will be:

    • Land acquisition and preparation       Br 1000/hectare           = 200,000
    • Machinery and tools                                                               = 150,000
    • Buildings /shade                                                                     = 100,000
    • Working capital                                                                       = 100,000

                                                                                                                            550,000

 

  1. Benefits: Earns foreign exchange, reutilizes the natural resource of the region, and brings financial resources to the region.

 

  1. Location: Localities in the Western edges of the Amhara region.

 


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