Ethiopia Earned 230 Million USD from Horticulture Export

Ethiopia has earned 230 million USD from export of horticulture products in only ten months of the current fiscal year, the Ethiopian Investment Commission said.

Flower took the leading share by generating 188.5 million USD followed by vegetables and fruits which bagged 41.24 million USD.The income has shown 14% growth as compared to the same period last year.

Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Belgium, UAE, France, Japan, U.S. and Djibouti were the main destinations of the products.

More than 130 companies are being engaged in the production and export business of horticultural products, the commission noted.

The budding industry has also created job opportunities for thousands of youth in different corners of the country.

Ethiopia has a great potential to expand the industry to more areas with its favourable climate and hospitable weather and people. It also has encouraging investment policies and packages that are attracting investors from many areas of the globe.

With its consecutive economic leap since the last couple of decades, Ethiopia is becoming the preferred destination in Africa for investors interested both in horticulture and other sectors.


The avocado market has changed a lot in Europe. While it is normally quieter in the summer, this is not the case now due to a shortage of the fruit. The lack of avocados on the European market is a consequence of the situation in the United States. Due to the favourable prices, a lot of the exports from Peru and Mexico are going to the US instead of to Europe. Currently, Peru, Mexico and South Africa are the countries in production. Colombia is also producing, but it has smaller volumes which are primarily intended for the domestic market and Europe. The production in Chile is expected to arrive in a month.

Peru: Lower production than last year

Peru is currently the largest exporter of avocados in South America, even though the country's volume is smaller than last year's. The total volume has fallen from 351,000 tons to an expected 305,000 tons. This is mainly due to the record figures achieved in 2018 and the fact that avocado trees can yield more one year and less in the following year (Alternate bearing). 27-30% of the production is intended for export to the United States, while 55-57% goes to Europe, 9% to Asia and the rest goes to South America and Canada. The harvest in Peru lasts until the end of September / beginning of October. An important development in avocado cultivation in Peru is the extension of the season through new technology and new plantations in the north of the country. Thanks to those new areas in the north, the season started a month earlier this year.

Mexico: Record prices for avocados

Last week, the price for Mexican avocados stood at 650 pesos ($ 33.80) per 10 kilo box; a record price. This price increase is due to a lower yield of avocados, which has been driving up prices since the end of April. At the end of July, the supply and the demand are expected to be in balance again. The Association of Avocado Growers in Mexico expects more than 1 million tons of avocados to be exported to the US in the 2019/2020 season; an increase of 5.23% compared to the previous campaign. 188,513 tons of avocados will be available for export to other markets.

Chile: Not yet in production

It will take another two to four weeks for the Chilean avocado season to start. There is a good chance that the country will first focus on exporting avocados to the United States. This is due to the favorable prices there. Exports to Europe will start after that.

Kenya: Avocado exports boosted by trade agreement with China.

Kenya's avocado production has been reduced by the weather. This has mainly had an impact on the Fuerte variety. It has actually been the worst season ever for this variety.The prospect is that things will go better in the next season. For a given trader, the export of avocados has fallen by 20%.

The most important development on the export market of Kenyan avocados is the future trade agreement with China. As soon as this agreement is fully active, 40% of the avocados are expected to go to the Chinese market. Currently, Kenyan avocados are mainly intended for Europe and the United States.
In 2017, Kenya accounted for 38.9% of Africa's total avocado exports and for 1.3% of the fruit's global trade.

South Africa: A supplier for the European market

South African avocado growers had to reduce their production estimates down to 14.5 million 4 kilo boxes. That is a million less than originally expected and 30% less than last year's record harvest. The prices are good; around € 14-15 / 4 kg for the Hass. The most important destination for South African avocados is Europe. At the moment, some buyers want avocados flown in from South Africa, which is very unusual for the time of the year. The prices are high due to the situation on the world market. The good prices paid for South African avocados on the European market will likely remain stable until the season kicks off in Chile, followed by Spain and Israel.

The Netherlands: Avocado market changing completely in one and a half months

Although the avocado market is usually a bit slower in the summer, this is not the case this year. Dutch importers say that the market has completely changed in a month and a half. The main reason is that Mexico has been supplying fewer avocados than expected and the United States has been attracting a lot of traders with its good prices. Almost all Mexican avocados are now going directly to the United States. What remains is the production from Peru, Colombia and South Africa, supplemented with some small shipments from Kenya, but Colombia is in the off-season and South Africa also has a smaller production. In May, there was a big price dip in Europe, so marketers there have been somewhat cautious with the volumes. In the meantime, not enough avocados are available to meet the demand. Importers expect this situation to continue until mid-August, when more countries will come into production.

Belgium: Avocados sold before they reach the market

Too few avocados are currently on the market in Belgium. An importer says that the few avocados available are sold even before he has received them. There is simply too little available to meet the market demand and the prices are therefore high.

Germany: Hardly any volume available

The German avocado market is currently at an impasse: Until recently, there was enough available to meet the demand, but the situation has changed in recent weeks. “At the moment, there is hardly any volume available and we have to be happy with every batch that comes in,” reports an importer from Hamburg. The prices are therefore extremely high and fluctuate around 20 Euro per 4 kg package. The main supplier of summer avocados is currently Peru, supplemented with some small volumes from Kenya and other countries. Partly due to the shortage on the market, there is currently no demand for alternative varieties and only the Hass is being sold.

France: Prices will not fall until November

In general, the season has been completely different to last year's. This time, the Peruvian production volume has fallen by 12%. California has grown little, so the US market is demanding a lot from production countries in Latin America with high prices. This is resulting in fewer avocados being shipped to the European market. The prices are therefore high and amount to around € 15-17 / 4 kg in France. Prices will only fall around November with the arrival of Spanish and Israeli avocados. The demand is still growing, especially for the Hass, while the “greenskins” are not as popular.

Spain: Domestic consumption needs to grow

At the end of May, the yield from the avocado harvest in Spain was 55,000 tons, with prices at origin oscillating between € 2.50 and € 3 per kilo. The crop's cultivation is expanding in Spain, just like in the rest of the world, and the demand for avocados continues to grow. Spain currently has more than 15,000 hectares devoted to avocados, half of which are in Malaga; however, it is difficult for avocado cultivation to expand in this region due to water management, so new areas are being planted in other regions, such as Huelva, Cadiz, Valencia, Alicante and also Portugal. The consumption of avocados in Spain is lower than in other countries (1 kilo per capita). It is about 50% lower than in France and the UK and three times lower than in Scandinavia. The sector is trying to stimulate avocado consumption in Spain in order to reach France's level. A good harvest is expected next year, with a 10% higher volume compared to this season.

Italy: Production of Sicilian avocados is increasing

South African and South American avocados are currently being sold on the Italian wholesale market. The avocado season has just ended in Sicily with positive results. The demand for avocados has recently fallen somewhat in favor of summer fruits, but when looking at the entire year, the figures show an upward trend. The demand is currently higher than the supply.

Sicilian avocado cultivation is not yet in full production and this year it is at 50% of its capacity. This season, 700,000 tons of avocados were grown, mainly Hass, but also Fuerte, to a lesser extent. The sizes of the Italian fruits are average. The new season is currently delayed by a month due to the cold spring.

South African avocado prices are currently rising on the wholesale market, while the price of the Peruvian Hass avocado is more stable. At the moment, the price of Peruvian Hass avocados on the market in Rimini amounts to around € 21 / 4 kg.

China relies on import markets

Avocados are gaining popularity in the Chinese market, especially among the younger generations, as young people have more health-oriented lifestyles and avocados are a nutrient-rich fruit. Older generations will need a little longer to get used to consuming avocados.

China is fast becoming a local producer of the fruit, even though the country still largely relies on imports from Mexico, Peru and Chile. The price fell sharply in May because companies were importing large volumes from Chile at the same time. Last year in May, the price was right, and that attracted many investors for this year, so there has been too much supply in a short time. Currently, the price is going up again. The import season of Peruvian avocados is almost over and the Mexican avocados are arriving in small numbers. This naturally pushes up the price, which is now even higher than in the same period last year.

Japan: New import market in Indonesia

The demand for avocados in Japan is steadily increasing and has grown to 74,000 tons in the last five years. Japan does not grow avocados itself, so the market depends on imports from the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru and Chile. The country is currently negotiating with Indonesia in order to also have import avocados from that country. The requirements that Japan imposes on the import of fresh fruit and vegetables are strict; however, for the export in avocados, the rules are not so strict, due to the country's demand.

United States: Market supply on the rise

The harvest in California has been significantly smaller this season. A yield of over 77,000 tons of avocados was estimated, compared to 170,000 to 181,000 tons a year earlier. The price for half a kilo of avocados was $ 1.70 in April, after which prices dropped to $ 1.30-1.40 and then rose sharply to $ 2.30. Then it dropped again a bit, down to $ 2 – 1.85.

Besides California, the US imports avocados from Mexico and Peru. The price of Mexican avocados has risen sharply, and due to price developments on the US market, Peru has shipped a large part of its production to the US, instead of Europe. The old Mexican harvest is ending in 2 weeks and the “Flora Loca” harvest started on July 1. Mexican growers are not used to the high prices currently paid for avocados (100 Pesos / kg, instead of the 20-30 Pesos / kilo that used to be paid). When California and Peru are out of production, a strong price increase is expected again. This will take place between August and September, when most avocados will come from Mexico.

Efficiency and productivity improved after provision of nutritious food at Bellaflor Group

Afriflower plc is an Ecuadorian flower farm located at Holeta, engaged in the production and export of high quality cut roses and a variety of summer flowers.

Afri-flower has been working closely with employees and community, through implementation of good agricultural practice and engaged in various community support projects. Among those, provision of nutritious food for their employees is one and vital.

Provision of lunch was previously launched voluntarily by the farm management which shows and improved productivity and efficiency of the employees. It also benefited the farm towards  retention rate of employees which significantly reduced turnover has also been achieved as well as better image of the farm among the local community.

However, the inflation of raw materials is pooling the farm backwards time to time therefore, the farm management recommended to start a way of facilitation for the supply of raw materials/ration with subsidized cost.

Striving for better Agro-logistics

The Ethiopian horticulture sector shows a tremendous rise with in short period of time, contributing to more than 10% of the national foreign currency earning and created over 200,000 jobs, out of which 85% are women.

In order to further the sector achievement the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) in partnership with Addis Ababa University College of Business and Economics School of Commerce has organized a Research Conference on Agro-Logistics in Ethiopia.

Currently, agriculture accounts for 60% of all export and for more than 80% of total employment in Ethiopia. Efficient and smart agro-logistics is a key enabler for the success of agricultural supply chains especially for perishable sectors. It also plays quite a vital role for the competitiveness of agricultural sectors locally and internationally by ensuring quality, delivery reliability and punctuality.

On the conference Mr. Tewodros Zewdie, Executive director of EHPEA stated on his speech that despite the competitive and comparative advantage for production and export of fruit and vegetables, the high costs of logistics particularly the costs of reefer containers hamper Ethiopia’s untapped potential to benefit from the main consumer markets. As there is no enough reefer container in the country farms are expected to pay for the empty container movement from Djibouti to their farm gat and from their farm gat to Djibouti. This calls for crafting sustainable solution so as to unlock the massive opportunities for the production and export of fruit and vegetables.

He also added urging the government to take proactive measures on creating better doing business climate for all the actors of agro-logistics including incentives for those who wants to invest on the sector , investing on necessary systems and infrastructures of agro-logistics, to help in slashing the inflated costs of reefer containers by taking out the empty leg of reefer container movement from Djibouti, availing finance for the private sector operators so that they build their capacity in specialized logistics services and anchoring productive platforms for proactive and structured engagement of the private sector, academic and research institutions and the government at large.

Transport Minister Mrs. Dagmawit Moges, on her keynote speech said “Taking into account that the horticulture sector is one of the anticipated development of Ethiopia, it attracts the government due emphasis. To address the challenges of logistics; the council of Minsters ratified the national logistics strategy that has been prepared by Ministry of Transport. In addition to this logistic sector have been open to both foreign and domestic investors so as to create enabling environment, effectiveness and efficiency in the sector. To further boost up the horticulture sector and other semi-processing food manufacturers; the cool chain feasibility study has been ongoing which is believed to transform the perishable logistics chain of transport.”

On the conference, policy makers, high ranking government officials, logistic service providers, academicians, cargo owners, forwarders, financial institutions, and other pertinent stakeholders attended and discussed on the research paper presented.

Dümmen Orange launches new phalaenopsis label ‘Popcorn’

Dümmen Orange launched a new orchid label for its special small-flowered phalaenopsis: Popcorn ‘Pops up your room’. The sector first became acquainted with this new label during the open days. These Popcorn orchids are available in many colours ranging from white and yellow to light and dark pink. Their unique characteristic is their profusion of flowers that are also smaller than those of similar phalaenopsis varieties.

With Popcorn, Dümmen Orange is introducing a new label for small-flowered phalaenopsis. This orchid’s flowers ‘pop’, just like real popcorn pops open. Hence the slogan: ‘pops up your room’. Each plant bears 50 (!) flowers less than 4 cm in diameter. This makes the total impression slightly different to the usual phalaenopsis varieties. Another plus: the Popcorn assortment provides a wide range of colours, from white and yellow to light and dark pink. This label promises to turn any house into a home because it matches perfectly with any interior style, be it retro, industrial, rustic or designer.

The market for large-flowered orchids is becoming saturated. Dümmen Orange realises that its customers – the growers – need to be provided with a distinctive package of products, and the Popcorn label is helping to do just that. Research has shown that a growing percentage of European consumers respond easily to trends: they are looking for a special look, personal expression and originality. New applications and ideas that express a lifestyle are the ones these consumers appreciate most. Aimed at millennials as end consumers, the new Popcorn label’s fresh and original look is just what they want. The FlowerTrials® marked the launch of the Popcorn campaign, which will continue to inform Dutch growers about this label both on and offline.

Dümmen Orange is the world’s largest breeder and propagator of cut flowers, bulbs, tropical plants, pot plants, bedding plants and perennials. Its annual turnover is about €350 m. The company employs over 7,300 people worldwide. In addition to a large marketing and sales network, Dümmen Orange has a diversified network of specialised production sites. The key to Dümmen Orange’s success is a broad and deep product range, supported by a global supply chain. The company embraces its social responsibilities and invests in the health, safety and personal development of its staff.

Preparing to grow bananas in Tajikistan greenhouses

Members of the “Dustobod 2” farm in the Spitamen district of the Republic of Tajikistan intend to build four innovative hectares of hydroponics on 4 hectares by 2021. There, they plan to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and bananas.

The construction of the first greenhouse is already underway on an area of ​​1 hectare. The growers intend to plant from 25,000 to 30,000 tomato seedlings in it in autumn, to get the first harvest in December of the current year, hopefully amounting to some of 100-120 tons. They expect to receive the second harvest in March-April. Thus, this hydroponic greenhouse, which will have autonomous heating and drip irrigation, according to farmers, should give about 220-240 tons of tomatoes.

The commissioning of two other greenhouses, intended for the cultivation of cucumbers and bell peppers, is scheduled for 2020.

The fourth greenhouse will be erected and put into operation in 2021, the Farmers have already decided that they will grow bananas in it. To this end, they are studying the technology of growing these fruits in greenhouse conditions. Farmers plan to plant about 1000 banana saplings on one hectare of greenhouse farming and in the coming years to receive about 45-50 tons of this production, which is still imported by the republic.

Farms Collaborated for Community Awareness Creation

Horticulture farms in Koka cluster teamed up to host an “Open Green House Day” initiated and organized by Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association held on July 2nd 2019. The event aimed to enhance the awareness of the surrounding community towards their perception of farms operation in the green house.

Accommodating various stakeholders including local government representatives, community leaders, community youths and elders; the program opened by the blessing of the region Abba Gadaa’s blessing and prayers at Syngenta farm.

On the opening Mr. Tewodros Zewdie, EHPEA Executive Director; stated that the Association organized this event taking into account that the achieved success of the horticulture sector is because of the hard work of the employees who came from the community mentioning that currently the country is on the 5th level of flower export in the world.  The horticulture sector created job opportunity for over 200,000 people and one of the top foreign currency earner in the country; he added.

East Shoa Zone Investment Officer Mr. Million Asfaw said on his speech; such kind of events creates belongingness with in the community and narrow the gaps of understanding. He convey his message to the community leaders that they have to work with the farms hand to hand to boost the Koka cluster investment. And lastly, he passes his appreciation to the event organizers that this kind of programs should be encouraged and adapted to other clusters as well.

Lastly, the visitors have seen the standard and wetland construction for the waste water treatment of the farms effluents, treatment and provision of refined potable water the community and for its employees and the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technology specially their use of biological agents in a wide range.

After the visit the participants reflected their feedbacks how they are enlightened by what they observe on obtaining good agricultural practices. They also appreciated the practices that the farms are following especially on the better employee management, appropriate environment protection and regarding discharging its responsibility towards the local community.

The Koka cluster farms are also known for their great corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works to the community; building elementary and high schools, yearly school material donation for the students, establishment of a support center for orphanages and vulnerable children, electric power supply installation, building residential houses for internally displaced people and providing safe drinking water.

Al-Amoudi funding bio-pesticide research to curtail application of synthetics

Ethiopian-born tycoon Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi, the 2nd richest business person in Africa next to Aliko Dangote, is funding the bio-pesticide research conducted on Phytolacca dodecandra L’Herit, a sprawling woody climber plant.

 Sheikh Mohammed, who also owns a gigantic agricultural farm – Ethio Agri-CEFT PLC – in Ethiopia, has so far invested over 5 million Ethiopian Birr (close to USD 170,000) for the research effort and to develop it on 50 hectares as a commercial plant over the last ten years aiming at curtailing application of synthetic pesticides or chemicals.

Consequently, flower farms in that country are replacing synthetic pesticides with the trailing shrub – Phytolacca dodecandra L’Herit – as researches confirm the fungicidal and larvicidal properties of the plant, says Mr. Esayas Kebede, General Manager of the commercial farm.

Researchers working for Ethio Agri-CEFT, one of the largest commercial farms in Ethiopia, have been conducting the bio-pesticide plant’s field trials as a fungicidal agent on two flower farms in Holeta and Bahir Dar towns and proved that Phytolacca dodecandra (locally called ‘Endod’) could be an “alternative to manufactured pesticides.”

Adane Wolde-Yohannes, Ethio Agri-CEFT Deputy General Manager for Agriculture and Agro-Industry stated: “These promising results mean that the plant can have widespread use in both domestic and industrial settings.  The trials at our Holeta and Bahir Dar flower  farms were  so  successful  that  we  were  able  to  reduce  the  use of manufactured pesticides.”

“Ethio Agri- CEFT has been conducting observational studies on the ‘Endod’ plant for more than ten years.  The data collected from these studies indicates that the plant has fungicidal, larvicidal and molluscicidal properties,” Adane Wolde-Yohannes indicated.

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