Ethiopia is to begin the export of Damask Oil, an essential oil extracted from Rosa Damascena (a type of rose) beginning in August of 2012. The oil will be exported by Terra plc to Germany, to a company called Walla Gmbh.
Damask Oil used for its medicinal and cosmetic benefits can fetch as much as 7500 US dollars a liter.
Terra, owned and managed by German investor Dr. Awad Ghanem has began a trial production of the rose with 532 seedlings supplied by GTZ. The company currently has 35 thousand seedlings said Wogderes Negash, Manager of the farm found in Debre Berhan.The company installed a distilling machine manufactured by Selam Ethiopia this last April and has since extracted 3 liters of oil according to Wogderes.
Terra harvested an estimated 1800 kilograms of flowers before installing the distilling machine. The company then dried 30 kilograms for export as home scents for 400 birr a kilo and extracted 1.5 liters of oil from the remaining flowers he explained.
4000 kilograms of roses is required to extract 1.5 liters of Damask oil added Wogderes.
It takes 1 hectare of land to grow this number of flowers and the company has currently covered 8 hectares with the flower.
Terra will begin exports with the three liters that it has in stock at this time but expects to be extracting six to seven liters from each harvest beginning with the next fiscal year. The company also grows chamomile and keeps cattle feed on the by-products of the extraction process.
Source: Addis Fortune