Ethiopia’s Food Grain Teff Gains Popularity

April 21, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. native /ˈneɪɪv/ (adj.) – grows and lives in a certain place naturally
Example: Many native chickens are found in the forest.

2. next big thing /nɛkst bɪg θɪŋ/ (idiom) – something that is expected to become famous in the future
Example: Many experts believe that the new product will be the next big thing.

3. stabilize /ˈsteɪəˌlaɪz/ (v.) – to stop changing
Example: The price of rice has stabilized at Php45 in the past week.

4. prohibit /proʊˈhɪbɪt/ (v.) – to not allow or to prevent something
Example: The government prohibits rice smuggling.

5. hamper /ˈhæmər/ (v.) – to prevent or cause difficulty for the production of something
Example: The storm hampered our rice production last month.


Read the text below.
Ethiopia’s [ee-thee-OH-pee-uh] native grain “teff” will be the next big thing in the food industry, said experts.

Also called as “golden teff,” the grain has been a primary food in Ethiopia and in some of its nearby countries. In Ethiopia, teff is used in making injera, a pancake-like bread which is a staple in the country.

Known as an alternative to wheat products like flour, teff is rich in minerals and protein. Also, the grain is ideal for diabetics because it helps stabilize blood sugar level. Teff is also recommended for consumers who are allergic to gluten, a substance common in wheat flours.

Though the wheat-like grain is still unknown to many, teff is expected to be the next global “super-food” because of its many nutritional benefits. Western countries are now experimenting on using teff to make breads, pastas, biscuits, and teff juice.

Due to the increasing demand for teff in the international market, the Ethiopian government aims to increase teff production by 2015. But to ensure that teff remains available and affordable among Ethiopians, exportation of raw teff was banned in 2006.

It is believed, however, that prohibiting international export may hold back prices but may also cause disadvantages. With fewer opportunities to boost profit, teff production is also hampered. Besides the limited supply of seeds and fertilizers, the lack of modern machinery makes it hard for farmers to even meet the local demand.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How can teff production help Ethiopia’s economy?
·         Do you agree that exportation of raw teff should be banned? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think about products labeled as ‘super foods’?
·         What food products does your country export?


April 21, 2014