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Essential oil

  1. Product Description: Essential oils are odoriferous organic volatile bodies of an oil character.  The oils are mainly derived from certain plant sources, and by nature they are present in small concentrations in certain parts of the plants such as leaves, barks, roots, flowers, or fruits.  Essential oils have extensive application for a wide range of uses.  They are used in soaps and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, confectionery and aerated water, etc.  Essentials oils can be used for domestic consumption and for exports.  Common essential oils are eucalyptus oil, lemon, grass oil, geranium oil, pine oil, castor oil, corn oil, garlic oil, ginger oil, etc.


  1. Rationale: Though declining due to deforestation, the Amhara Region is a source of wide variety of plants.  Different kinds of essential oils can be obtained from these plants.  Up to now, no attempt has been made to extract these oils for commercial purposes; and the Region has not benefited form its plant resources in the area of essential oil production.  Without further aggravating the depletion of the forest resources, it is possible to produce essential oils from trees and vegetables which can be planted and harvested and again replanted.  In fact, if commercial productions of essential oils are rewarding, reforestation activities might take place in some areas of the Region.


  1. Market Potential: All essentials oils used for various purposes are imported; and import figures are not readily available since different oils are categorized under different import figures.  But the presence of soap factories, pharmaceutical factories, confectioneries, cosmetics etc, indicate the existence of a captive market for some type of essential oils.  In addition, there is a high potential for exporting essential oils to countries where plant resources are extremely limited or practically non- existent due to climate.


  1. Source of Raw Material: The existing plant resources and farm products such as garlic, singer, geranium, castor, corn, etc. are sources of essential oils; and these can be found and/ or grown in the Region.  Besides, some commercial tree/plant farms could be established.


  1. Production Process & Technology: Three different production processes are used to extract or separate oils from plant materials.  These are distillation, expression and extraction by volatile solvents.  Different types of machinery and equipment are used depending on the type of oil to be extracted or produced and the type of production process to be used.


  1. Estimated Investment: Again the investment cost depends on the type of product and production process.  However, for a small scale plant, a total investment of Birr 500,000-1,000,000 will be sufficient.


  1. Benefit to the Economy: More use of the Region’s natural resources, earning and saving of foreign exchange resources.


  1. Location: Urban centers where the plant and vegetable resources are to be found and/ or grown in sufficient quantities.