‘Avocado’ The New Trend of Ethiopian Horticulture Business

MASHAV received a senior delegation headed by Ethiopia's Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Sani Redi Ahmed. Following a study tour organized by MATC – MASHAV Agricultural Training Center, the parties met to evaluate the ongoing Smallholder Horticulture Project held in Ethiopia in cooperation with USAID Ethiopia. As part of this program professionals from Ethiopia have been also taking part in a tailor-made course on “Avocado Crop Value Chain”  early this week.

The training program was held in the framework of the long term joint cooperation program between USAID EthiopiaMASHAV and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, aimed to develop a competitive and sustainable avocado sector.

The Smallholder Horticulture Project (SHP) implemented in four main regions – Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNPR aiming to promote economic growth in rural areas through strengthening commercialization of smallholder farmers in horticulture production in areas with recognized production and market potential.

Currently the project is focusing on developing a competitive and sustainable fruit development sector focusing on establishing a base for avocado export market from Ethiopia. The project is able to promote Ethiopian Avocado in the international market for the last three connective years and the quality of Ethiopian Avocado is becoming competent in European and Asian markets.

The demand of improved avocado seedling is now increasing in the country and there is big interest from the government and the private sector (local and international) to plant /invest and produce Avocado for export market.

The project strengthen six big nurseries and created a capacity to undertake modern seedling production locally. Since then, the project has raised 536,706 grafted improved Avocado seedlings out of which 431,919 (78.46%) seedlings that can cover a total area of 1038.27 hectares have been distributed to 3562 farmers. In addition to this, a total of 500,000 rootstock seedlings are found grown in the project nurseries waiting for grafting in between January and May, 2019.

With regard to capacity building activities, the project has trained 127 nursery technicians out of which 80 of them are found working in the nurseries of the project areas and the rest 47 has already started their own private nurseries. Apart from this, more than 2000 farmers has been trained in different permanent fruit tree management practices such as seedling handling and transportation, field preparation for planting, planting methods, irrigation and other orchard tree management practices. It was also learnt that, local and oversea trainings were also given to 350 experts involving in the different project areas. The project has also imported and distributed 225,000 scion cuttings (Hass variety) to the different project nurseries in two rounds.

DHL and Ethiopian Airlines scale up their joint venture

DHL and Ethiopian Airlines have appointed Berhanu Kassa as general manager to lead their joint venture as it scales up its operations with three established stations, and a fourth by end of the year.

Kassa, previously director of logistics services at Ethiopian Airlines, takes over the leadership of DHL-Ethiopian Airlines Logistics Services from Pramod Bagalwadi, chief executive, DHL Global Forwarding, Sub-Saharan Africa, who was instrumental in setting up the joint venture.

Kassa’s appointment comes at a time when the country is focused on growing its economy by building industrial parks in key locations to accelerate growth of exports from Ethiopia. “In the past twelve months, we have invested in growing the team to full strength and have established three stations in Addis Ababa airport, and in the major manufacturing hubs of Hawassa Industrial Park and Bole Lemi Industrial Park,” said Kassa.

He added: “Our stations are strategically located for us to be close to where our customers operate, allowing us to achieve time and cost efficiency in our processes. We are also planning to launch a fourth station at the Modjo Dry Port by early 2020 where 95% of the country’s imports and exports pass through.”

Said Bagalwadi: “As the government targets to achieve 11% GDP growth annually under its growth plan, Ethiopia’s focus on export-led industrialization in sectors like energy, transport, and manufacturing and the expansion of physical infrastructure, will see its industrial sector expand by 20%.

“In order for Ethiopian businesses to seize this opportunity and expand globally, they need fast, reliable logistics connectivity to overseas markets, backed by industry expertise and high-quality transport infrastructure.

“We are making available training opportunities in the region to ensure that our colleagues are trained to the highest standards set by DHL globally, and lending our expertise to help enhance local infrastructure.” DHL-Ethiopian Airlines Logistics Services provides air, ocean, road haulage sand customs brokerage.

Ethiopia is also one of the key competence centres for DHL’s Industrial Projects – a unit of DHL Global Forwarding that manages complex logistics projects including deep sea chartering activity and heavy-lift cargo. The team also provides International Supply Chain solutions for customers, to link multiple suppliers from different sourcing locations to various destination markets.

The Hawaasa and Bole Lemi stations mainly serve export from the industrial parks, while stations in Addis Ababa and Modjo will serve both export and import, with the capability to handle international supply chain projects, as well as customs brokerage.

Research reveals simple trick to prolong vase life of spray roses by 30%

Breeding company Interplant Roses, recently investigated the impact that the cut stage of spray roses has on the flowers vase life. By running these tests and sharing the results, Interplant Roses wants to improve florists’ understanding and experience and consumer perception of spray roses.

Their research department tested the vase life of spray roses when harvested at different cut stages. Results show when spray roses are harvested at cut stage 3 (CS3), vase life improves by up to 30%, in comparison with other cut stages.

Furthermore, the flowers have a better opening and the percentage of drooping necks reduces considerably, provided that bacteria-free and clean water is being used. This finding is extremely important for the entire spray rose chain, from grower to consumer.

Strides of the Horticulture Sector

The Ethiopian horticulture sector is one of the youngest sectors blooming over the past 15 years attracting more and more foreign investors.

The sector has been one of the top contributors of export commodities that are enabling the country earn millions of dollars over the course of the past decade.

The export earnings generated shows a significant increase in the year 2011 E.C compared with the fiscal end year 2010 E.C. It has been able to generate 315.14 million dollars in 2011 E.C from the exports of horticulture. This includes 256.62 million USD from only floriculture export and 58.52 million USD from vegetables and fruits. The sector export grew by 12.84% compared to last year’s performance. Exporters of the sector expanded their destination globally mainly to Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA, Norway, Belgium, Germany, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Djibouti.

As the sector has been growing fast, creating ample opportunities for interested foreign and local companies, the number of investors who are operating in the horticulture production and export businesses increased within this short period of time.

Ethiopia is endowed with enormous blessings of nature to grow horticulture and floriculture products in many of regional states. The weather, the huge untapped suitable land, the enormous amount of surface and ground water it embraces, availability of labor makes the country favourable by huge and renowned international investors to invest in.

Generally in the course of the past 15 years the horticulture and floriculture sector in Ethiopia has been growing substantially forcing the government to closely work with actors of the sector as it becomes one of the key sources of foreign currency earnings.

252.2 Million USD Was Generated From Export Trade in the month of July

Addis Ababa, September 6, 2012 (FBC) – Revenue surpassed $ 252.2 million in export revenue in July 2011. In July, it was planned to earn 252.9 million US dollars from the agriculture, manufacturing and mining sectors, with an income of 252.2 million US dollars, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

The performance increased by 40.69 million USD or 19.23%, up from 211.5 million US dollars in the same month last year. Out of the planned budget for July, the export sector is flower, electronics, electricity, chemical and construction inputs, vegetables, nuts, pens, and coffee.

Products that accounted for 75 percent to 99 percent of the plan were livestock, textiles and clothing, cereals, natural resin and frankincense and meat. According to the Ministry, oil and leather products and spices are 50% to 74% of the planned.

On the other hand, under the plan, foreign trade exports are less than 50 percent, followed by meat products, beverages and pharmaceuticals, seaweeds, milk and dairy products, wax, gold, other minerals, tea leaves, metals and honey.

In order to increase the market share of the country in the fiscal year, the ministry said it is necessary to establish a system to supply export products to the world market in a quality, competitive price and required.

He also stressed the need to interfere with all stakeholders by putting market-leading products modern, efficient, transparent, equitable, by incorporating market-based products into the modern marketing system and taking other appropriate measures immediately.

Dutch exporters see healthy growth in exports to Russia

“Commercial activities in the ornamental sector between the Russian Federation and the Netherlands continue to expand. In 2018, the total Dutch export of ornamental products like flower bulbs, pot plants and flowers to the Russian market increased over 25 percent and total around 250 million Euro,” said Agricultural Counsellor Meeuwes Brouwer at the opening ceremony of FlowersExpo in Moscow on September 10.

The FlowersExpo proves to be an excellent platform to bring business partners together and to share knowledge and experience. So, at least 50 Dutch companies came to Moscow to participate in one of the most color-full exhibitions to introduce their “novelties” of new varieties of flowers and plants to the Russian market.

Cut flowers market

Russia is the world’s largest consumer of cut flowers. Experts include it in the top six import countries after the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and France. According to, the real capacity of the Russian flower market continues to be estimated by analysts at $ 40 billion.

According to the “Cut Flowers Market Analysis in Russia”, prepared by BusinesStat in 2019,  in 2014-2018 imports of cut flowers to the Russian market grew by 3.3% from 1.34 to 1.38 billion pcs.

The dynamics showed a fall in 2015-2016 and an increase in 2017-2018. The reduction in imports was primarily influenced by the decline of the import of flowers from the Netherlands in 2015, as well as a decrease in supplies from Ecuador, Colombia and the embargo on Turkish carnations in 2016. Also, the devaluation of the ruble and a decrease in real incomes of Russians led to a decrease in demand for flowers which affected the decrease in imports.

Roses traditionally occupy a predominant share in the structure of Russian imports of cut flowers. In 2018, they accounted for 59.8% of import. Chrysanthemums, which occupied the second place in terms of import volume in 2018, accounted for 18.9% of foreign flower deliveries. The share of carnations in imports was 13.5%, the share of lilies did not reach 1.0% of the total supply, and the share of orchids was about 0.3%. Other types of flowers in 2018 accounted for 6.7% of imports.

In 2019-2023, according to BusinesStat forecasts, imports of cut flowers to Russia will grow by 0.5-4.4% per year and will reach 1.53 billion units by the end of the period.

Flower bulb market

According to the “Analysis of the flower bulb market in Russia”, prepared by BusinesStat in 2019, in 2014-2018 their import into the country grew by 1.7%: from 448.7 to 456.2 million units. In 2015, it showed a decrease of 10.3% compared to the previous year. The reduction in foreign supplies was caused by a decrease in the real incomes of Russians against the background of high inflation in the country and the devaluation of the ruble, which led to a decrease in demand for these products. In 2016-2018, imports of products grew.

The structure of natural imports of flower bulbs by species over the past five years has maintained relative stability. Tulip bulbs traditionally have a predominant share in the structure of Russian imports. In 2014-2018, the share of this type of product in imports ranged from 59.1% in 2018 to 65.5% in 2016. The share of gladioli bulbs accounted for from 9.8% in 2017 to 15.9% of foreign flower deliveries. in 2018, the share of daffodil bulbs in imports ranged from 2.6% in 2018 to 1.8% in 2016; the share of hyacinth bulbs ranged from 1.9% in 2015 to 1.1% in 2016 (in 2018 – 1.7%). Other types of flowers in 2014-2018 accounted for an average of 21.5% of total imports (in 2018 – 20.7%). was also at the FlowerEpo to make a photo report of the event

According to BusinesStat estimates, in 2019-2023 the import of flower bulbs will grow by 2.8-0.6% per year. In 2023, it will reach 492.4 million units, which will exceed the level of 2018 by 7.9%.


Ethiopian Day held at the 2019 Beijing Horticultural Expo

Ethiopian national day marked in Guirui Theatre of 2019 Beijing Expo in the presence of H.E Humer Husen, Ministry of Agriculture Minister, Teshome Toga, and Ethiopian Ambassador to China, State Ministers and Chinese government higher officials.

The program aimed to promote the country potential of agri-business export and investment, considering the emerging demand of Chinese import market.

The 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 past 15 years. 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 past 4 months of the Expo, the Ethiopian pavilion caught the eyes of more than 12,000 visitors who were impressed by the colourful flowers on display and the traditional coffee ceremony.

On the national day Ethiopian officials stated that the country has a lot of potential for more agribusiness, and more room for cooperation with China not only in agriculture, but also tourism. The program flowed by a B2B session where the main actors of the sector presented the current status and potentials.

Hansa Flowers, says it has been engaged in various corporate social responsibility activities that benefit the local community

The Dubai-based company established in 2014 with capital of $7 million has five flower farm in Ethiopia, sites in ten kilometres radius. The company has created job for 2,000 Ethiopians on its 60 hectares of flower farms. The company is now planning to increase its farm size to 100 hectares and double its number of employees, according to Mr. Franklin Thomas, Manager of Hansa Flower PLC.

Hansa Flower mainly exports its products to the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The manager says 50 % of the product goes to the Middle East especially to Dubai, Saudi, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. The manager who indicated that Hansa Flower is making 5 to 6-million birr net profit annually, says two years ago the profit was 3.5 million birr. This year the company has paid a total of 9 to 10 million birr tax to the government, according to Mr. Thomas.

He also indicated that Hansa Flower expects 50 percent annual growth for the coming years. But for that to happen says Mr. Thomas, Oromia region and the country in general needs to ease its bureaucracy and start providing one window shop service to investors.

Flower farms have been expanding in Ethiopia over the past few years recruiting over 200,000 employees and generating hundreds of millions of export earnings to the country.

When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility , Hansa Flower has invested $200,000 birr and built elementary school in Holleta City, Oromia region of Ethiopia. And has also built 4 kilometers gravel road investing 75,000 birr.

In addition, the company also provides school kit to the children of its employees. The company has also been assisting the electrification and water supply for the dwellers living around the farms, according to the manager.

Steam Sterilization for Horticultural Growing Media

Recently, steam sterilization of growing media has been attracting growing interest for its low ecological impact as well as for its high social value. It is used as viable alternative to Methyl Bromide and other critical chemicals in agriculture which are legally banned by Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Nowadays, steam sterilization is introduced in cutting farms such as Ethiopian Cutting (Syngenta), Florensis Ethiopia, Florensis Abyssinia, Dumen Orange, Maranque plants and other cutting flower growers for sterilization of growing media in propagation or greenhouses and it is considered as the best and the most effective way to disinfect soil-less media.

In this process, soil-borne pathogens i.e. fungi, bacteria, weeds, and viruses are destroyed through induced hot steam to a level that cause protein coagulation or enzyme inactivation and physically degenerate their cell structure. Soil lethargy can also be cured through the activation of chemicals and blocked nutritive substances are tapped and made available for plants. Steam sterilization leads to better starting position, quicker growth and strengthened resistance against disease and pests.

The advantage of steam sterilization is that it is highly efficient (~100%), cost effective technology, it eliminates the need of fumigants; it is neat, clean, and easy control technology, leaving no toxic residues or fumes and therefore less harmful to other greenhouse crops and growers. Besides, it is non-selective (some chemicals are ineffective against some pathogens) and requires little aeration time (planting can be done right after it cools). Steam can also be used to disinfest soil-less media such as red ash, perlite, peat and compost.

In conclusion, a research should be conducted incorporating method of sterilization, type of crop and growing media and financial feasibility of the methods to confirm the current implications and to insure safe and eco-friendly production system as well as recommendations and experience sharing programs should be organized to extend the practice to the rest of the sector operators.

Contact Info

Location : Micky Leyland Avenue on the Road to Atlas Hotel, NB Business Center; 6th floor; Room # 603

Phone : +251 11 6636750

P.O.Box: 22241 Code 1000


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