Realizing Workplace Gender Equality and Gender Based Violence; on commercial horticulture farms

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) organized a capacity building workshop on “Workplace gender equality and ways on prevention of gender based violence" at Bishoftu town November 26, 2019.  The workshop is organized to enhance the awareness of responsible government office staffs who has a pivotal role on commercial horticulture farm practices towards prevention of workplace violence against women on the daily farm practices of gender equality.

Identified government stakeholders from Batu, Lume, Bishoftu town and Adea woreda of Labor and Social Affair, Women Children and Youth Office, Justice Office and Police are among the participants.

On the workshop ministry of Labor and Social Affair office presented the newly amended labour law related to women right in the workplace. EHPEA member farm representative from Minaye Flower plc, also shared their experience on women empowerment and the challenge on creation of safe and conducive working environment (gender equality).

The workshop was a good platform to strengthen the partnership of commercial horticulture farms with government stakeholders in a way set direction on prevention of workplace gender based violence.

Environmental Risk Assessment and Management Training Delivered

EHPEA Training department delivered Environmental Risk Assessment and Management for its member farms from November 26 to 29/2019 in EHPEA meeting hall. Having the objective to creating awareness and the way how farms should manage environmental issues friendly, the training was focused on the contents such as, Importance of Environmental Protection,

In addition to class room training; a one-day practical farm visit conducted at Florensis Abyssinia Plc, to share best practices regarding liquid waste management, compost preparation and solid waste management. During the training a total of 33 farm environmental officers participated.

Workshop advances food fortification

A seminar has been held on advancing food security and food fortification of Ethiopia at BASF. The workshop connects stakeholders from the food value chain and enhances cooperation to address challenges in the food value chain.

The key to ensuring food security in Ethiopia lays in public-private partnerships. A high prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies is a major problem for the nation. The Government of Ethiopia has been working hard to improve food security and food fortification by understanding these prevailing nutrition problems and their consequences, as well as the manifold benefits of addressing these issues.
“We are working with the stack holders starting from the production process storage and transportation of food improvement needed to ensure food safety and quality during processes and to ensure minimum waste.” Andreas Bluethner, director of food fortification and partnership at BASF
The UN estimated that the world population will increase and will have an environmental impact and also affects social issues.

BASF is working on Three major areas “resource, environment and climate,” “food and nutrition “and “quality of life” to provide sustainable solutions for food security and fortification.
“The government, private sectors and international organizations should collaborate to generate multifaceted solutions to ensure sustainable food security” said Gift Mbaya, BASF general manager and business lead for BASF TRO Ethiopia. “Innovation will impact how world will feed the growth of population, decreasing the natural resources, soil degradations and climate change
Ethiopia has set its first National Food and Nutrition Policy in 2018 to fulfill the nation’s ambition to end malnutrition and stunting by 2030, the policy, prepared on the basis of the national nutrition strategy, and programs that have been under implementation since 2008.

Solomon Tadele, Director of Food, Medicine and Health Care says, “this kind of session on food fortification helps to make different analysis on products and their nutrients to fulfill the gap of a fortification based on our context.”

The German chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world, BASF Group runs six major business segments. This division includes chemicals, performance products, functional materials & solutions, agricultural solutions, nutrition, and oil & gas. Positioned across 80 countries with its subsidiaries and joint ventures, it has 390 production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, the US, and Africa.

Beside its plant on seed agricultural on Arerti, business solutions concentrated around biological and chemical crops, soil and pest protection, BASF has been working on Capacity building, training, coaching with the government and private sectors on food fortification and nutrition in Ethiopia.

Bill to Liberalise Investment Laws Reaches Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers has received an amendment bill to the nation’s investment law that is expected to open up the economy to foreign capital. Drafted by the Ethiopian Investment Commission, the bill was sent to the Council early this month.

The drafting process took around a year and was undertaken by the Investment Law Revision Task Force, a team of 17 experts. The last time the investment law was revised was in 2014, while it was legislated in 2012. The revision is expected to open up the logistics, financial and aviation sectors.

In the process of amendment, public consultation was held by the Commission to identify gaps in the investment environment and recommend ways of addressing them. A series of closed-door meetings were also held for the government, private players and development partners.

“They genuinely wanted our feedback and insights to craft robust and effective improvements to the investment laws,” said Sam Rosmarin, chief strategy officer at Komari Beverages, who participated in one of these meetings.

The draft will allow public-private partnerships in the areas of manufacturing of military weapons, international airport transport service, import and export, power distribution through the integrated national grid system and postal services with the exception of courier services.

The draft also plans to partly open logistics service provision, air transport services, inland public transport and freight transport to foreign investment. But non-national investors or businesses not based in Ethiopia must form joint ventures with local players and will have to abide by a share capital cap of 75pc.

Non-nationals will also not be able to hold more than 49pc of shares in companies engaged in advertising, audio-visual production, accounting and auditing, and mass media services. They can also now engage in capital goods leasing and management consultation.

The existing investment law will also be expected to allow the involvement of foreign investors in the financial sector, according to sources close to the case. Foreign involvement in the sector has not been allowed ever since the Dergue regime in 1974.

Although the sector was finally opened to local private players in 1994, the government continued to insist that the regulatory capacity of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) was not developed enough to regulate foreign financial firms. In the event of legislation, opening up of the financial sector will signal one of the first significant economic reforms in line with the recommendations of financial institutions such as the World Bank.
Though positive about the idea of opening up the economy for foreign investment, private players believe that there is a long way to go before the investment environment can be smoothened out.


Creating a social accountable and sustainable horticulture business

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) hosted a one day workshop in “Social Accountability and Sustainability Awareness Creation Workshop in the Horticulture Industry” held on November 21, 2019 at Best Western Plus Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Representatives of EHPEA member farms, key stakeholders of the sector, professionals of CSR, community representatives from major clusters and relevant national authorities were in attendance.

EHPEA Executive Director Mr. Tewodros Zewdie started his opening speech by announcing that the horticulture sector has been the best performer in-terms of export value in this quarter among other sectors. On his presentation “Sustainability and corporate social responsibility in the horticulture industry” he stated the essence of CSR becomes very critical, that the business case of CSR to businesses should be followed by CSR and sustainability management in the export horticulture industry. He also added that there are a number of platforms that EHPEA is involved in both local and international level to ensure sustainability mentioning the association Code of practice developed to promote good agricultural practices with the three major pillars of employment safety, welfare of employees and protection of the environment. The construction of liquid waste (Used water) management system project is also the major intervention area that EHPEA undertaking in its member farms. In addition to this the association initiates and advocate for cluster based CSR projects in the industry.

The workshop was a great platform which helps the participants to understand the importance of CSR in a way actors of the sector to respond and adopt externalities created by their market action, which reaches beyond the interest of the firm and what is required by law. It also created an improved image of the sector within the stakeholders which will contribute to overall social and economic sustainability.

On the workshop different actors of the horticulture sector presented their experience on the implementation of CSR activities as follows;

Bayern Training and Development Center (Bfz) Mr.Torsten Schulthess, Project Manager presented on Experience of Bfz in promoting CSR and Sustainability.

Mrs. Mahlet Shibabaw, Program Manager and Country representative of Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) presented on “Practices and experiences on CSR Implementation in Ethiopia and Challenges in Implementation and the way forward”.

Mr. Sander De Raad, Project Manager of Social Impact Assessment Ethiopian Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth (ENTAG) presented the international Perspective of CSR Implementation and way of integration with the Ethiopian Context.

From Ethiopian Investment Commission Commercial Horticulture Sector Directorate, Mr. Mekonnen Solomon, Horticulture Support and After Care Directorate Director presented regarding CSR and Sustainability in the Horticulture Sub-sector.

Fairtrade Africa (FTA) Mr. Kassahun Belay, Program Coordinator: Dignity For All (D4A) – Finnish-funded Impact Programme|, presented sustainability footprint and Impact of Fair Trade to the Horticulture Sector and   success stories Challenges and opportunities of road to sustainability.

Mr. Yosef Mengistu, ESA Quality Manager and Technical Adviser in Ethiopian Standard Agency ISO 26000: presented Social Responsibility Guideline brief and its relevance in the Horticulture Industry.

Mr. Benjamin Goepferich, Regional Director Production Africa. Presented on the Practices and Experiences of CSR implementation at Dummen Orange Red Fox Ethiopia plc/ Dummen Orange.

After the presentations the participants reflected ideas and questions and discussed at length. Mr. Tewodros concluded the workshop stressing on the way forward by calling all stakeholders to strengthen their engagement on CSR activities, the government support to properly map supportive procedural policies and stakeholders to be involved on cluster based CSR activities to get a holistic advantage.

Liquid Waste Water Treatment for better environment

Olij Roses Ethiopia Plc.

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) is working towards ensuring a sustainable and environment friendly production in the horticulture sector. Among its key the intervention areas, constructing a wetland in its member farm is one of the tool to safeguard the sustainability and environmental issues. Among the farms who are implementing the project, Olij Roses Ethiopia PLC is one of the leading farms to construct the wetlands system. Currently the farm finalize all the necessary constructions and let the system to run in order to treat the used waste water.   As the farm use more water for production they construct bigger treatment plant which helps to filter the water before it discharge to the environment and irrigation purposes. The final discharged water will be used for irrigating different fruits like, Papaye, banana and other.

Ethiopian Cutting PLC

Ethiopian Cutting PLC (Syngenta) is also one of the beneficiary farms from the wetland project. The farm finalized the construction of its Wetland and the system will start to purify water by the end of November.

As the farm used water discharge volume is high, they have built a huge facility to reuse the treated used water for irrigating gardening and different fruit plants with in the compound.

UNCATEGORIZED World Export Development Forum Opens in Ethiopia

The World Export Development Forum (WEDF) was opened in Addis Ababa today under the theme “Trade and Invest in One Africa.”

Co-hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, the forum was officially opened in the presence of high ranking government officials including President Sahle-Work Zewde.

The event attracted business leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, trade development officials, representatives of international organizations, trade and investment promotion agencies and business associations across the world.

The Forum is timed to contribute to Africa Industrialization Week, intended to help business make the most of the newly ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement with a special focus on the role of women and youth and to address international business competitiveness issues and profile international investment in Ethiopia and beyond.

During the event, a business-to-business matchmaking platform that aims to create new business deals in agribusiness was also organized in partnership with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations.


A Good Start for Enhancing Public Private Partnership for Creating Sustainable Horticulture in Ethiopia

A technical committee established drawn from EHPEA and Oromia Environment Forest and Climate Change Authority (OEFCCA) staff, following the experience sharing visit to Kenya waste management technology specifically on the management of Lake Naivasha water shade management and clearance of liquid and solid waste to renewable energy.

On a meeting held at the OEFCA office, chaired by H.E Dr. Negere Lencho, Head of OEFCCA, participants presented the best practices of Kenya Horticulture Sector and learning experiences that can be applied or consider in the Ethiopian Horticulture Sector.  Hence, the participants agreed to establish a joint collaboration and partnership towards the environmental protection and sustainable horticulture industry among all concerned stakeholders, mainly OEFCCA, EHPEA, the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission and community representatives.

The new established technical committee took an assignment to develop an Action Plan for the future area of collaboration and partnership initiatives.  The participants expressed that the experience sharing visit program had inspired them to make the horticulture industry more sustainable and initiate joint collaboration and coordination among the major actors in the horticulture Industry.

The Technical Committee expected to prepare the Action Plan and ToR for future action, in the next ten days and submit OEFCC Office.

Youth in Horticulture- FSSA School Vegetable Gardening Project Initiative

Youth in Horticulture is an inclusive school gardening project which is initiated by the social entrepreneur Mr. Eskender Mulugeta which was encompassed through Farm Secure Schools Africa (FSSA). FSSA is a Social Enterprise that believes African schools could be breadbasket by promoting school gardening and agricultural teachings to ensure nutrition and food security.

The initiative targeted to promote school gardening as a source of homegrown school meals as well as livelihood for the participating parents throughout the country. FSSA provides support to schools and parents in setting up the school gardens. FSSA follows the strategy to build the local capacity of the stakeholder to take over the sustainable management of the gardens. FSSA is convinced that the provision of training to local capacity builders about sustainable agricultural practices is essential for cascading the knowledge about farming, raising awareness for the environment and reaching food security.

Furthermore, the idea is that the school gardens serve as a teaching tool and that the vegetables grown there are used to supplement the school feeding programs with nutritious food. At the same time, participating parents can keep the surplus for them or sell it on the local markets diversifying their income. Currently, FSSA has supported the establishment and sustainable management of seven school gardens, located in Addis Ababa and Oromia Region, Ethiopia.

U.S. Avocado Imports Jump from all Latin American Origins

The U.S. saw significant increases in Hass avocado imports from all Latin American origins through September this year, USDA data shows. Over the nine-month period, total imports from the region rose by 20% year-on-year from US$1.7bn to US$2bn.

The growth came amid the lowest California avocado crop in a decade, which created a supply gap for overseas producers.
Mexico was responsible for much of the import uptick this year, with volumes rising from US$1.52bn to US$1.8bn.

But there were also substantial increases in percentage terms from Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.

Imports from Peru – the next biggest origin – rose by 24% from US$168m to US$208m. That figure is more than triple imported from Peru in 2016, and also comes amid a 15% reduction in total exports this season.

Chilean supplies in the U.S. rose by 61% from US$17m to US$27m this year through September. This increase came despite the Chilean avocado indsutry also forecasting lower total supplies year-on-year for the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, the U.S. imported five-times more Hass avocados from the Dominican Republic. Imports rose from a mere US$485,000 to US$2.4m. And imports from Colombia rose eight-fold from US$393,000 to US$3.2m. Colombia scored U.S. market access in August 2017 under a restrictive export protocol, which was eased slightly earlier this year. It is expected to increase avocado shipments to the U.S. significantly over the next few years.

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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