Compost boosting farm productivity

Ethio Agri-ceft/Agri Flower Holeta is one of the pioneers of horticulture investments in the country. It is well-known for its diverse rose varieties and a good track record of engaging in local communities developmental activities.
One of the strengths of the company lies in its efficient use of Compost—a decayed organic material used as a fertilizer for growing flowers. The company produces compost on its own in two methods known as conventional and vermi. In the conventional way the company’s trained workers produce compost by mixing greenhouse waste and molasses whereas in the latter method the company uses red worms bought from nearby research center to make organic soil from a blend of fruits.

Most of the inputs used in compost preparation are greenhouse waste and byproduct. Depending on local analysis compost is added to flowers in 3-6 months interval while fertilizer is applied every day. The company has three sites for compost preparation and it takes 6-8 weeks to get a fully decomposed organic material.

Compost is benefitting the farm in replenishing and enhancing soil fertility, increasing soil microbes and maintaining soil moisture. It is serving the purpose of reconditioning the soil continuously thereby protecting soil from depletion.

According to Farm Manager Leul Debas the company grows variety of roses such as Burgundy, Mario, Josie, Upper class, Bell rose, Antenna, Confidential, Deep purple, Bissu, Spana, and Revival, among others.

“Since our farm is in highland we do not face much insects infestation. Thus, we do not rely on class I chemicals. Most pesticides we apply are meant to control only fungus as opposed to lowland area where there is high infestation of insects.”

“We have got a lot of benefits since we started using compost. It enabled us to recycle waste product. We used to suffer from disposal of waste here and there. We started compost preparation to clean environment but eventually found it to be very crucial for fertilizer consumption, soil fertility and environment cleaning. On the whole, it enhances water holding capacity of soil and minimizes expense on fertilizer.”

At present the company is replacing old varieties of flowers which had been grown for over 7/8 years in the farm. It is also undertaking experimentation on various flowers in accordance with stakeholders and clients recommendations.

Ethio-Agri-ceft/ Agri Flower Holeta has fully utilized the land designated for it from the Holeta City Administration. It is cultivating some useful spices and herbs and nurturing bee farm on pieces of land not covered with greenhouse in the farm.

Marginpar Ethiopia undertaking extensive CSR activities

Marginpar Ethiopia PLC is a flower producing and exporting farm located near Holeta town in Welmera district. It currently grows and exports Eryngium, Astrantia and Crocosmia to Europe and the Far East.

Marginpar is participating in different CSR activities for meant to realize mutual growth. A good case in point is road construction spanning approximately 12-kms in two different locations of Choke kebele of Welmera through project community consulting, sharing gravel material, local resources and machinery, transportation and labor cost.

The kebele also come up with the idea support to build bridge on Welesu River in which the company bought culvert pipe, sand and gravel stone. At present the construction is underway and a wooden bridge is serving as a temporary solution.

Last year the company distributed 6,000 fast growing and indigenous trees to the community. For 40 households 5000lt pure drinking water supplied on two directions at Marginpar and it is taking action to support the nearby school in supplying drinking water.

Besides, the company covers Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) for 650 of its staff and 26 elderly from local community members providing them access to full health package for themselves and their family.

EHPEA member farms praised for meeting standards

At a half-day workshop organized by Enterprise Partners in collaboration with LOCAL FRUIT on Food Quality standards at Saphire Addis Hotel Friday May 17, 2019, it was indicated that among eight fruit and vegetable growers list, seven farms praised for fulfilling most of the food safety requirements are EHPEA members.

Some actors in the industry on food quality standards for safety, food processing companies, exporters of food items and membership associations were present at the workshop. The speaker, Marijke Elshof, has over 15 years of hands-on experience in the EU market on quality standards requirements and evolution. She made brief presentation on the international market quality standards based on EU-Market and in the context of her grasp with the existing quality standards in Ethiopia.

The presenter made brief explanation on the International Market Standards, Global Food Safety Initiative (, British Consortium, Global Standard for Food Safety, International Featured Standards, Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO), etc.

She also described the steps and principles that should be followed to maintain the food safety and quality standard and acquired international certificates.

She highlighted that there are only eight exporting companies in Ethiopia who got international food safety standard certificate and suggested that more companies should be certified.  She finaly mentioned that her company would like to provide technical advice and ISO 22000: 2018 Standards and ISO 22002 1:2019 standard and checklist and additional requirement for FSSC 22000 and checklist for free.

The workshop touched upon related topics such as the requirements for Food Safety Certification 22000, Guidance on Food Defense, Guidance on Food Fraud Mitigation, Food Safety Management systems & requirements for any organization in the food chain as well as prerequisite programmes on food safety.

EHPEA staff members were among participants of the workshop.


Ministry of Agriculture and EHPEA member farms discuss draft regulation

Experts and executives drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture, EHPEA member farms and stakeholders on Tuesday deliberated on a document prepared to back the agriculture sector with quarantine regulation. The discussion was conducted as a follow up after the recent validation workshop held in Adama to further cascade the regulation in depth. The participants asked questions for clarity, raised valuable comments and suggestions meant to enrich the draft regulation developed by a team of experts commissioned/formed from EHPEA and the Ministry.

Reflecting on the draft regulation, EHPEA Board member who is also farm owner Ronald Vijverberg noted that the document is prepared in accordance with international standards in a way that could pave a way to develop a number of relevant directives expected to enhance the Ethiopian horticulture sectors competitiveness globally.

Ronald also indicated that the regulation needs to be finalized and approved in a way that entertains amendment in line with future developments in the country and the world.

Fikre Markos, an employee of Agricultural Transformation Agency and consultant, also said that utmost effort has been made to incorporate every relevant information in the draft regulation. He also mentioned that once the regulation is approved attention should be directed quickly towards devising a directives.

Member farm representatives who have made active participation in the discussion raised a number of issues to be incorporated as an input into the regulation. The need for updating list of pests on regular basis has been pointed out as a matter of concern for future.

Presentation of the new plant quarantine regulation by Dr. Waktole Sori, IPM component Manager, EHPEA

The Ethiopian Plant Quarantine Regulation in use was developed in 1992. In addition, the country is a signatory of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and further paving a way for the fulfillment of the needed  preconditions to become a member of WTO. In line with these realities, there is a dire need to have a new Plant Quarantine Regulation that takes in to account the present authentic situation of the country and the world. Thus, formulation of the new regulation is found to be an option less measure.

The quarantine regulation was being developed by team of experts and is financed by EHPEA.

Company calls for EHPEA, gov’t to facilitate Chinese market access

Tinaw Business S.C is one of the horticulture growers who participated in the Goyang Korea International Flower Exhibition took place from April 26-May 12, 2019.

Muluken Lemma who attended the event from Tinaw Business S.C. said the exhibition was good in terms of promoting company’s products at Korean market. It is not for the first time for the Company to take part in the exhibition. Compared to similar events in other countries Muluken noted that “it is a bit challenging for Ethiopian horticulture growers to pass the strict quarantine regulation in Korea and Japan airports to take part in the event.”

Besides, the inadequacy of cargo service from Ethiopia also has impact on effectively utilizing Korean market.

The colour, volume and supply period also affect export to Korean market because Korean consumers prioritize Latin American and local flowers which suit their taste in terms of cost and colour and volume.

Enhancing cargo service from Ethiopia and being able to supply all year round will be the best approach for Ethiopian horticultural farms to take advantage of Korean market.

Expressing his view Muluken said Chinese market is more accessible and convenient for Ethiopian growers when compared to the Korean one. Thus, EHPEA and the government are expected to facilitate market opportunities for Ethiopian growers at Chinese market.

Including Tinaw Business S.C which is engaged in roses production at its farm situated in Wolkite, five horticulture farms—Roshanara Rose PLC, ZK Flower, Dugda Floriculture Development PLC and Hansa Horticulture PLC exhibited their products at Goyang Korea International Flower Exhibition from Ethiopia.

The growers displayed their products at the event through the coordination of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA).

Inclusive Growth and Decent Work for Achieving Nat’l Plan

A tripartite technical discussion organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the International Labour Organization (ILO) together with Labour Unions deliberated on minimum wage setting system with the theme ‘Possible Roadmap Towards a Minimum Wage System for Ethiopia’ in Bishoftu May 14-15, 2019.

The ILO Five-year Programme ‘Advancing Decent Work and Inclusive Industrialization in Ethiopia’ implementation was launched in April 2019 aimed at improving respect of workers’ rights leading to greater incomes and compensation, and enhanced safety, equality, voice, and representation. The program also aims to lift industrial productivity and competitiveness to assist sectors become globally competitive and encourage accountable and transparent government institutions.

Cognizant of the program the tripartite technical discussion in its conclusions highlighted that as Ethiopia has embarked on a journey towards industrialization and building up investment in infrastructure, the creation of employment and decent work that brings about increased productivity and competitiveness is a key priority in the development efforts in Ethiopia, according to EHPEA staff members who participated the discussion.


Furthermore, it was indicated that an inclusive and job rich growth through decent work is the backbone for achieving the Growth and Transformation Plan vision of attaining a middle-income economy by 2025. At a national level, the project has started facilitating social dialogue among multiple stakeholders in developing common vision and strategies to support the country’s endeavours to become an African hub of socially responsible production both for global and domestic market.

As the program aims to support fixing minimum wage as well as enhancing the capacity of government institution to prevent and resolve labour dispute, the tripartite technical discussion is said to have been instrumental.

The discussion was attended by representatives and experts came together from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Regional States Bureaus (Amhara, Oromia, Addis Ababa, Benshangul-Gumuz), EHPEA and Labour Unions.

According to the Ethiopian Herald Vol. lXXV published 11 May 2019, the Confederation of Ethiopia Trade Union (CETU) has already submitted request to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) to set a national minimum wage with the objective of addressing complaints occurring in connection with salary payments.

In order to ensure occupational health and safety, establishing a sustainable workplace injury prevention, protection and compensation system is quite essential. At a factory level the ILO project is providing demand-driven capacity building support informed by assessment results. The support is geared towards improving the participating factories productivity, working conditions and industrial relation to make the factory competitive in local and international market. The program also aims to improve supervisory and HR skills as well as incorporate gender equality and diversity principles to encourage women worker to reach leadership.

Ethiopia at the Beijing International Horticulture Expo 2019

Ethiopia’s floriculture and coffee commodities are currently being showcased at the Beijing International Horticulture Expo 2019 which is being held in Yanqing District of Beijing, China. The Beijing Expo 2019 aims to create a new horizon for world horticulture and new model of ecological civilization. Being held in a huge park of over 500 hectares, at the foot of the world famous Great Wall of China, Beijing Expo 2019 is the world’s largest horticultural show. During its six-month run, the Beijing Expo is expected to attract 16 million visitors from all over the world. Over 110 countries, including Ethiopia, are exhibiting floricultural and horticultural products and promoting their tourism attractions and cultural heritage.

Officially inaugurated on April 28, 2019 in a ceremony attended by leaders of various countries including President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, the Expo was timed to open at the end of the second Belt and Road summit. In his opening address, President Xi emphasized the importance of green development and ecological civilization through the development of horticulture industry. The Ethiopian delegation was led by Minister of Agriculture, Oumer Hussien.

Ethiopia is exhibiting its flowers and coffee as well as its extensive networks of tourist attractions to the Chinese public and to the world. Commenting on the exuberant mood of visitors of Ethiopian pavilion, Ethiopian Ambassador to China, Ambassador Teshome Toga, said that “the platform unfolds a new prospect and vitality for Ethiopia’s horticultural commodities and tourist attractions to penetrate the huge China’s market.” He added that the theme of the Expo, “Live Green, Live Better”, closely aligned with Ethiopia’s own Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy. In an interview given to the People’s Daily, Minister Oumer Hussien said “President Xi’s speech was inspirational in the sense that creating a harmonious relationship between humankind and nature is a necessity and commonly shared by all countries, and we need to treat nature in a sustainable manner to ensure the future of the next generation.”

Ethiopian horticultural development for the export of flowers, fruit and vegetables, favoured by the country’s suitable climate, has been one of its major success stories of recent years. The sector has attracted a huge investment flow and had been steadily penetrating international markets over the last two decades. Mainly driven by the expanding middle classes’ strong level of consumer confidence, backed by a younger generation who see cut flowers as part of daily life, China is becoming the largest potential marketplace of horticultural products. Expo 2019 marks a new chapter and will help to open doors for Ethiopian horticulture producers and exporters to translate their global market successes into action on China as well.

Ethiopia’s theme for Expo 2019 is “13 Months of Green Production”portraying a picture of sustainable, harmonious and eco-friendly horticulture, produced all the year round. During the first week of the Expo, the Ethiopian pavilion caught the eyes of more than 7,000 visitors who were impressed by the colourful flowers on display and the traditional coffee ceremony. Over the next months, Ethiopia will now be organizing a series of colourful cultural performances in China to add a further dimension to the cultural and other attractions on display.

Beijing International Horticulture Expo 2019, the world’s premium horticultural exhibition, is approved by International Association of Horticultural Producers and held under the auspices of International Bureau of Exhibitions, with the support of the Government of China. Ethiopia’s participation in this Expo is being overseen by a National Steering Committee composed of various government and private entities, and State Minister of Agriculture, Aynalem Nigusie, nominated as a Commissioner-General for Ethiopia’s Pavilion. A delegation of Ethiopian commercial horticultural farmers, led by Zelalem Mesele, the President of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association, also attended the Expo. (Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, London, UK).

Commission, farms hold consultative meeting

Predicating upon a binding document sent to horticultural farms couple of months ago by the Federal Commission of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, member farms and Commission officials came together at EHPEA Hall in Addis Ababa on Tuesday taking advantage of deliberation platform created by EHPEA.

During the deliberation representatives of various horticulture farms have voiced their concerns mentioning that a “binding document” issued to farms on environmental matters was not timely and appropriate. “The Commission shouldn’t have dispatched the document without putting any precondition and providing support ahead of time. Support and teaching as well as discussions should have been given precedence over warning.”

Participants who attended the meeting on behalf of their farms indicated that it takes adequate time and budget to fully implement the Code of Conduct and that the Commission is expected to extend awareness creation and follow-through on progress among the farms even if punishments are found to be necessary. It was also noted during the discussion that ‘big misconception which regards floriculture as a threat should be rectified.’

A participant on behalf of Red Fox PLC on the occasion said that the job opportunities and hard currency generation by the farms should not be taken for granted. “Our company has more than 2,500 employees and we pay up to two million birr every month. Floriculture farms are making significant contribution to the country’s income generation and tax. Thus, we deserve assistance from the government.”

Similarly, Florensis Ethiopia representative pointed out that although the company has made strides towards applying the Code of Conduct which was designed jointly by the Commission and EHPEA, the procedure and reporting of Environment Audit manually has posed a challenge.

Representative of Olij Roses also noted that as the government is inviting new foreign investors to engage in the horticulture sector, a clear-cut regulation has to be in place first and foremost.

Dugda Farm member during the discussion also made a point that even if some farms have made improvements even after the Commission’s binding document, no supervisor or auditor has returned to examine possible progress on farms environmental protection activities. Comments and suggestions were provided at one time but we have not seen any one who appeared for follow up and/or supervision in the last two months.

Responding to the questions and suggestions of the Farms, Commission representative said that no company could have even met the bronze level had the Commission been strict on the Code of Conduct. “We have tried level best to give support to the farms instead of urging them to entirely apply the Code.”

Macfrut Expo 2019 concluded

A prominent Fruit & Veg Professional Show in Italy, Macfrut Exhibition, was concluded Friday May 10, 2019.
Macfrut 2019 African Pavilion was officially inaugurated at Ethiopia’s stand in Rimini Expo Centre by H.E. Emanuela Del Re, Italian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Five EHPEA member farms that exhibited their products at the Expo also participated in a B2B sessions, study tour and training on how to get access to finance from Italy.
Involving exhibitors from more than ten sectors besides fruit and vegetable industry, the Show focused mainly on agriculture technology.
At the expo EHPEA member farms exhibited their products such as strawberry, table grapes, fine beans, asparagus and avocado, according to Yemisrach Birhanu, who took part in the show on behalf of EHPEA.

Ministry pledges directive conducive for horticulture

With the objective of assessing progress in policy framework on Integrated Pest Management the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) and key stakeholders held a validation workshop in Adama late last week.

Agriculture State Minister Sani Redi said during the workshop that all necessary support would be provided in order to accelerate completion of the regulation which is due to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.

The State Minister also noted that once the regulation is finalized and approved, the Ministry will give attention to devising a directive which suits the interests and priorities of the horticulture sector.

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association Executive Director Tewodros Zewdie remarked on the occasion that EHPEA’s collaborative effort with the Ministry and other relevant governmental offices will be upheld even after the regulation is approved. “EHPEA will contribute to the effort being made to improving agricultural production and productivity through giving due emphasis to quality export in the horticulture sector. “

EHPEA, being a signatory of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPCC), is expected to have a comprehensive quarantine regulation which encompasses a wide ranging points mainly issues related with bio-agent.

Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute, Regional State Agricultural Bureaus, Regional Agricultural Institutions, Regional Quarantine Offices, Universities, Input suppliers and Commercial farms were in attendance.

Contact Info

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Phone : +251 11 6636750

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