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March 11th, 2019 / The Conversation

Teff, an ancient grain from Ethiopia and Eritrea, has been growing in popularity across the world in recent years. Huge demand meant prices skyrocketed and the Ethiopian government eventually slapped a ban on exports which it kept in place for six years. The aim was to enable Ethiopians, who rely on it as a staple crop, to be able to afford it again.

Teff is in demand because it has various health benefits and unique nutritional contents. It’s high in fibre and rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, protein, and amino acids. But what’s really contributed to its enormous popularityparticularly in Europe and the US, is that it’s gluten free. This means that it appeals to athletes, diabetics, coeliacs and others who seek a gluten-free diet. 

Consumers are willing to pay premiums for gluten-free food such as teff. And various teff-based products are now also being developed to capture this premium market.

Currently, Ethiopia produces over 90% of the world’s teff. But because of its growing popularity, teff production has attracted other countries including; Australia, China, India, South Africa, and the US. Read more …