Oil Seeds

Oilseed Crops are grown primarily for the oil contained in the seeds. The oil content of small grains (eg, wheat) is only 1-2%; that of oilseeds ranges from about 20% for soybeans to over 40% for sunflowers and rapeseed (canola). The major world sources of edible seed oils are soybeans, sunflowers, rapeseed, cotton and peanuts. Seed oils from flax (linseed) and castor beans are used for industrial purposes. Edible fats and oils are similar in molecular structure; however, fats are solid at room temperature, while oils are liquid.

Fats and oils are essential nutrients, comprising about 40% of the calories in the diet of the average Canadian. Edible vegetable oils are used as salad or cooking oils, or may be solidified (by a process called hydrogenation) to make margarine and shortening. These products supplement or replace animal products (eg, butter, lard), supplies of which are inadequate to meet the needs of an increasing world population.

Oil Seed Types

Linseed is mainly used for the domestic consumption in Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia a large number of sesame seed varieties exist. The varieties that are well known are Humera Gonder and Wellega. The Humera variety is appreciated worldwide for its aroma and sweet taste. It is suitable for various bakery products. The Gonder type is also suitable for the bakery market. The major competitive advantage of the Wellega type is its high oil content.

Niger scientifically known as Guizotia abyssinica is an oilseed crop that belongs to the Asteraceae family and on Guizotia genus. It is originated in Ethiopia, and its wild ancestor is likely Guizotia schimperi Sch.Bip. It was probably domesticated before 3000 BC in the highlands of Ethiopia, where it is still cultivated as an oilseed crop.