Althoughonly14yearsold,mechanized horticulture production has shown an exponential growth. Currently, there are126 investments in Ethiopia in the export of flower, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Farm ownership is made up of local investors (46), Direct Foreign investors(76),join tventure partnership (3)and development bank (1).
Currently,the Flower,Fruit,Vegetable and Herb farms occupy 10,897.21 hectares. The sector provides employment opportunity for 199,640 persons and in 2017/18 generated earnings of about 307.04 million USD. This makes the sector the fourth largest foreign revenue generator for the country.
Favorable climate, availability of land and the incentive packages provided by the Government have all contributed to the phenomenal and success ful growth of the floriculture sector in the last 14 years.
Ethiopia now has 72 active flower farms and is the second largest flower producer and exporter in Africa next to Kenya.
The country is noted for high quality flowers.In addition to the rose farms,6farmsareengagedinproduction of cuttings and 17 farms produce a variety of other flower varieties, including Carnations, Hypericum, Veronica, Alstromeria, Gypsophila and a range of other types of flowers.
Although Ethiopia has a long tradition of producing fruit; e.g. banana, pineapple and mango, for home consumption and export to neighboring countries, it is only recently that investment has been made in larger scale production and in the production of less traditional crops including strawberries, table grapes and passion fruits. Currently, there are19operatorsengagedinlargescale and modern fruit production and this isseen asanarea that has enormous potential for development.
Atpresent,thereare31vegetableexporting farms throughoutthe country. These farms produce a wide variety of vegetable including green beans, snow peas, tomato, paprika, eggplant, baby cornonionandphysalis. The availability of fertile land, labour and readily available water to gether with cold chain facilities at three airports and a rapidly improving road and railtransportnet work all make Ethiopia the right place to invest in vegetable production.
Ethiopia’s climate is very suitable for the production of herbs and there are many investors that are keen to exploit the potential. Currently, there are four herb producing farms in Ethiopia.
The companies already engaged in this sub sector are highly productive and produce over 21 herb varieties including rosemary,tarragon, mint, chives, basil, etc. for exportasfreshproducttomany international market destinations.
Production standards are high and all investors in this sector comply with the Good Agricultural Practice and Food Safety standardsrequired for food crops entering the European and other market destinations.