IPM Technical Committees call for the need of continuous training to upgrade the knowledge and skill of actors at different levels

The IPM TC which was established in 2018 with the objective of strengthening and promoting IPM in commercial horticultural crop production for profitability and sustainability of the sector, held a meeting on 20 December 2019 at the EHPEA meeting hall. On the discussion mainly focused on the challenges of implementing IPM technologies (with emphasis on Biological pest management in Ethiopia) and forwarded recommendation for possible solutions.

Dr. Ferdu Azerefegn, a senior entomologist at Hawassa University College of Agriculture presented the general concepts of IPM and its development worldwide. He then discussed the major challenges and constraints of implementing and practicing IPM in the world in general and in Ethiopia in particular. Some of the key challenges narrated by Dr Ferdu were; Lack of consensus on the concepts and practices of IPM, Limited/poor commitment of stakeholders (government bodies, farms, etc), Lack of awareness and deficiency in IPM knowledge by actors ,Wrong perception of producers with regard to profitability of IPM technologies, Fear of IPM risks and uncertainty, Present bias and procrastination because of slow acting nature of IPM when compared with pesticides which results in an immediate results without delay of crops damage, Endowment effect due to investment on pesticides tools and equipments ,Menu effect by making standard decision with limited understanding of the crop-pest-environment interactions, Lack of dedicated research and government institutions supporting the sector, Poor integration among actors, Lack of policy support, Lack of information relay among extension agents, Farmers and researchers, Strong promotional works by chemical companies and support to them by governments, Limited availability of IPM technologies, Limited dissemination of IPM technologies are among them.

Further he also put the way forward on the need for continuous training to upgrade the knowledge and skill of actors at different levels, IPM technologies generation, establishment of service (support) providing institutions for the sector, engaging policy makers at all levels of the supply chain, establishment of registration procedures that works for bio-agents,  enacting laws-regulations-directives-rules, etc.

Following his presentation, participants further discussed on the challenges and forwarded possible solutions that need to be address by concerned government bodies especially Ministry of Agriculture, Research and higher learning institutions and EHPEA.

The Committee member concluded their meeting by reflecting recommendations that the government bodies especially the Ministry of Agriculture should play an active role in promoting IPM technologies and controlling the use of banned pesticides in the horticulture sector (especially on the commercial horticulture farms), the higher institutions training students in horticulture, should revise their curriculum and education methodologies by giving more emphasis on providing practical skills to their students and organize more experience sharing and exposure visits to commercial horticulture farms.

It was also suggested that EHPEA should continue to receive more students for the internship program and support higher institutions to get up to date information on new technologies. EHPEA Program Manager, Mr. Sisay Gebre Egziabher, on his closing remarks he stated that EHPEA will continue to provide its support for the application of IPM technologies in the horticulture sector and would like to play a proactive role for the development of the sector.

Floriculture Market is anticipated to expand at a promising CAGR of 5.73% during 2020 – 2026 | OGAnalysis

Floriculture Market Size Forecast during 2020-2026

SOUTHLAKE, TX, UNITED STATES, December 27, 2019 / — The involvement of staple floral countries in commercial floriculture drives the market growth at a CAGR of 5.73% during the forecast period 2020-2026. OG Analysis identifies regional floriculture market trends and strategies in focus across industry players to stay ahead of the competitive floriculture space.

Improved cold storage technologies and technological advancement result in effective supply chain management of flowers is set to drive market growth. Further, increase in waterways shipping of flowers, rising online flower sales, growth in the urban population positively drives the floriculture market growth.

The emergence of nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing the floral industry through funds and research in for the benefit industry players and allied trade organizations boost the market growth opportunities. For instance, AFE sponsored over $17 million to industry projects to tackle floriculture market challenges and retain a knowledgeable and skilled workforce.

Furthermore, penetration of internet, e-commerce platforms for buying flowers, and use of Instagram as an effective marketing tool drive floriculture market growth. Accordingly, bedding plants through online retail to the public or to landscaping companies with increasing need for green roofs and green walls thrust the bedding plant market growth over the forecast period. However, the uncertainty supply, regulatory restrictions on the use of pesticides, and the additional costs of perishable nature of flowers are the key factors challenging the market growth.

RFID emerges as a transformative technology market trend across the floriculture industry during the forecast period RFID technology reduces the burden of high costs of air freight by allowing flowers to be transported using a cheaper mode of transport like seaways. Time-temperature indicators (TTI) and smart labels indicate time-temperature history and are useful for tracking the environment which preserves the flowers. In addition, emergence of fresh flower market across the United States with strong exports from Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia and other shapes the floriculture market of Americas with recordable market value during the forecast.

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US (NY): A new tomato ideal for urban gardens and even outer space

Farmers could soon be growing tomatoes bunched like grapes in a storage unit, on the roof of a skyscraper, or even in space. That’s if a clutch of new gene-edited crops prove as fruitful as the first batch. The primary goal of this new research is to engineer a wider variety of crops that can be grown in urban environments or other places not suitable for plant growth, said Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor and HHMI Investigator Zach Lippman, who leads the lab that designed the ‘urban agriculture tomatoes.’

These new gene-edited tomato plants look nothing like the long vines you might find growing in a backyard garden or in agricultural fields. The most notable feature is their bunched, compact fruit. They resemble a bouquet whose roses have been replaced by ripe cherry tomatoes. They also mature quickly, producing ripe fruit that’s ready for harvest in under 40 days. And you can eat them.

“They have a great small shape and size, they taste good, but of course that all depends on personal preference,” Lippman said. Most importantly, they’re eco-friendly. “This demonstrates how we can produce crops in new ways, without having to tear up the land as much or add excessive fertilizer that runs off into rivers and streams,” Lippman said. “Here’s a complementary approach to help feed people, locally and with a reduced carbon footprint.”

That’s good news for anyone concerned about climate change. Earlier this year, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that more than 500 million people are living on land already degraded by deforestation, changing weather patterns, and overuse of viable cropland. By shifting some of the burden of growing the world’s crops to urban and other areas, there’s hope that desperate land mismanagement will slow.

Urban agricultural systems often call for compact plants that can be slotted or stacked into tight spaces, such as in tiered farming in warehouses or in converted storage containers. To make up for crop yield constrained by limited space, urban farms can operate year-round in climate-controlled conditions. That’s why it’s beneficial to use plants that can be grown and harvested quickly. More harvests per year results in more food, even if the space used is very small.

Lippman and his colleagues created the new tomatoes by fine-tuning two genes that control the switch to reproductive growth and plant size, the SELF PRUNING (SP) and SP5G genes, which caused the plant to stop growing sooner and flower and fruit earlier. But Lippman’s lab knew it could only modify the SP sister genes only so much before trading flavor or yield for even smaller plants.

“When you’re playing with plant maturation, you’re playing with the whole system, and that system includes the sugars, where they’re made, which is the leaves, and how they’re distributed, which is to the fruits,” Lippman said.

Searching for a third player, Lippman’s team recently discovered the gene SIER, which controls the lengths of stems. Mutating SIER with the CRISPR gene-editing tool and combining it with the mutations in the other two flowering genes created shorter stems and extremely compact plants. Lippman is refining this technique, published in the latest issues of Nature Biotechnology, and hopes others will be inspired to try it on other fruit crops like kiwi. By making crops and harvests shorter, Lippman believes that agriculture can reach new heights.

“I can tell you that NASA scientists have expressed some interest in our new tomatoes,” he said. While the first ship to Mars probably won’t have its own farm, astronauts may still get to test their green thumbs with urbanized, space-faring tomatoes.


EHPEA Accredited to be a Semi-Autonomous Training Centre

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) established it’s Code of Practice (CoP), which has been considered as a major accomplishment within Ethiopia’s horticulture sector, in 2007 and it has been offering about 21 different types of training courses to support farms in compliance with the CoP and other international standards.

The excellence of providing these standard training services, makes EHPEA to be the only institution in Ethiopia. It is true that EHPEA’s members’ compliance with international standards and the CoP promote their good management practices and also facilitates market access, particularly in the export markets.

With the objective to ensure the financial sustainability of EHPEA’s standard CoP Training services and mainly to respond to the requirements of a changing environment by transferring the knowledge and skills to the trainees, EHPEA has been taking steps to upgrade and re-establish its CoP training services into a Semi-Autonomous Training Centre.

Accordingly, the EHPEA’s Semi-Autonomous Training centre become accredited by the Addis Ababa TVET Office (Technical Vocational and Education and Training Office) by fulfilling the long list of mandatory processes that required attaining and submitting a number of legal documents, such as Teaching Learning materials, Student hand book, Legislation , Strategy and Certificate of Competence for trainers.

The Training Centre will have an independent management structure that include and Executive Board, a Director, a Dean, Vice Dean, Department Heads, which will be consider as the Management of the new centre.

The centre with the support of EHPEA, will work on redefining the training centre’s programmes / topics, improving the contents and quality of its services, designing methods to best suit to the individual needs of the trainees, and putting these new methods and ways into functions.

Furthermore, the Training Centre guarantee availability of high excellence training to the horticulture sector. This includes national and international actors all across the value chain levels, from junior employees to top-level managers to enable further development of the horticulture sector, enhance the knowledge in the country, reaching a competitive position in the international market.

EHPEA Agreed to work with Ethiopian Employers Federation; workplace reproductive health right and gender equality

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) and Ethiopian Employers Federation (EEF), signed Memorandum of Understanding on December 20, 2019 to work on workplace reproductive health right and gender equality.

Under Workplace Gender Intervention SRHR Project; the agreement targeted to capacitate EEF management to influence their members in addressing SRHR, Gender Equality, sexual harassment and GBV. This courses incorporate measures to discourse the issues in their business plans and policies that will help workers to be empowered while enhancing motivation at work place.

According to the EHPEA experience in delivering this trainings to its member farms; the farms achieved an excellent result in decreasing turnover, enhanced motivation within the workers, improved reputation of the farms and greater productivity. It has also a greater impact in the market where buyers and retailers will have a reliable source with an improved quality and sustainable production.

On behalf of each organizations, Mr. Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director of EHPEA and Mr. Dawit Moges president of EEF signed the agreement. The project will be commenced and implemented for 2 years beginning from the year 2020 G.C.

A Task Force Established in Amhara Regional State

A regional task force meant to address the doing business challenges of the Horticulture sector operators of the Amhara National Regional State is launched initiated by Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) in Bahir Dar December 18, 2019.

The task force is expected to address challenges in a proactively structured framework so as to ensure smooth operating environment and sustainability in the Horticulture industry.

Officials drawn from the Regional Industry and Investment Bureau, Labor and Social Affairs Bureau, Rural Land Administration Bureau, Environment, Forestry, and Wildlife Bureau, Ethiopian Electric Utility, Ethio Telecom, Development Bank of Ethiopia, Transport Bureau, Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA), local administrators of the various Horticulture clusters of the region among others are members of the task force.
The regional state has ample potential and resource which is suitable for various Horticulture investment that can transform its economy and improved livelihood of the community.

Farms Open their Green House for Community Awareness Creation

Horticulture farms in Debrezeit cluster teamed up to host an “Open Green House Day” initiated and organized by Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) held on December 12th, 2019. The event aimed to enhance the awareness of the surrounding community towards their perception of farms operation in the green house.  The visit program accommodated over 110 various stakeholders drawn from the local government representatives, community leaders, community youths and elders were in attendance.

Mr. Tewodros Zewdie, EHPEA Executive Director; stated on his welcoming remark that the Association organized this event taking into account that the achieved success of the horticulture sector is due to the hard work of the employees who came from the community.  Mentioning flower investment in the country, it is only around 1500 hectares of land is under production which is contributing the major foreign currency being on the 5th level of flower export in the world. The sector created job opportunity for over 200,000 people in the country.

He also added that; if we double this investment as we have all the resources such as land, water and trainable workforce, the country economy and the livelihood of the community will be greatly benefited while the knowledge transfer is enhanced. As the sector is very competitive globally it needs due attention of the government and the community in supporting and creating conducive environment for investors.

On the opening the Ada Woreda Abba Gadaa’s made their blessing and prayers, as per the culture of the region.

Mr. Benjamin Goepferich, Regional Director Production Africa of Dummen Orange, gave a brief introduction of their farm and the cluster horticulture investment towards the code of conduct in a way how they interact with the employees and community engagement programs of CSR.

Bishoftu City Administration Office Administrator Mr. Merid 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 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.

The Ada Woreda Security and Administration Office Administrator Mr. Eshetu Nego and Investment office representative Mr. Haymanot Naha calls the community to collaborate on this investment development with in the region and work closely with farms and government offices for peace and security.

After the opening remarks the two farms; Olij Roses Plc and Joytech Plc received the visitors with a warm welcome and opened their production site for the official visit with a proper guidance and brief explanation.  Among the facilities visited, rose flower propagation, used water management system (Wetland), herb pack house and different varieties of herb green houses were visited.

After the visit the participants reflected their feedbacks how they are enlightened by what they observe on obtaining good agricultural practices appreciating the practices that the farms are following especially on the standard and wetland construction for the waste water treatment of the farms for appropriate environment protection.

Horticulture Festival Hosted in Bahir Dar City

Aiming to create awareness on horticulture investment in the Amhara region, a horticulture festival held in Bahir Dar city December 10th, 2019 at Grand Hotel. The Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) has been engaged in conducting field visits and horticultural investment forums across the region, reaching out to local communities, government bodies and students as part of its key intervention areas of promotion.

The main objective of the Horticulture Festival, is to provide a forum for the people of the region to increase their understanding of the sector and to create new partnerships with major investors engaged in the sector, stated Mr. Yohoanes Abebe EHPEA Technical Advisor on his opening remarks. Following the opening remark, Mr. Gethahun Mekonen (PhD), D/head of Amhara Industry and Investment office presented the region abundant resource which is suitable for Horticulture investment that can transform its economy and improved livelihood of the community.

On the festival a panel discussion organized where different stakeholders presented and share their experiences towards the sector investment.

Potential Horticultural crops for export and import substitution in Amhara region presented by Mr. SemagnAsredie(PhD), Amhara Agricultural Research Institute. On his presentation he mentioned the three identified  horticultural potential corridors: Tana , Kobo and Shewa Robit/ DebreBirhan, where the lands are suitable for Potato Seed Production, Potato processing,

Cool season vegetables seed production and marketing , Banana Production and ripening, Avocado Production and processing, Temperate fruits production and out grower salad production.

He also stressed on the necessities of facilities for investors like an international airstrip, a cargo centre and fast developing infrastructure to be taking into consideration Commitment of the region to encourage investment.

Representative of Bahirdar University Horticulture Department Instructor Mrs. Masho Aklile, presented the department courses and academic linkage of the horticulture investment areas.

Hass avocado investment opportunities in the region also presented by Mr. Wale Getaneh Smallholder Horticulture Project Coordinator.

Mr. Ben Depraetere, Managing Director & Country Head BASF Vegetable Seeds Ethiopia shared his experience on Seed propagation potential and challenges mentioning his interest to invest in the region as well.

Mr.Jan, Kokavege owner and manager also share his experience on out- grower scheme challenges and opportunities.

On the panel discussion participants reflected their opinions and questions stressing their readiness and eagerness to be part of the investment, mentioning the companies who have already got land  in Kunzila to start their work  as soon as possible.

The mini expo of 12 EHPEA member farms and unions who displayed their products made the event colourful which was visited by over 150 Bahir Dar city youths.

Representatives of different stakeholders from North Gojam (Semen Achefer, Liben and Kunzila), Bahir Dar city responsible government offices, banks, investors, community leaders were in attendance.The festival was successfully concluded creating a mutual understanding and motivation among the participants.


The World AIDS Day has been commemorated in Sebeta Cluster Farm at Ethio Passion Farm compound on Friday December 6, 2019. The program was organized by EHPEA Gender Team in collaboration with EthioPassion Farm and Sebeta Town Health Office. On the event a total of 250 employee drawn from Et-Highland farm, Saron Roses PLC, and Lafto rose farm were in attendance.

The program aimed to enhance the awareness of employees about HIV/AIDS in the workplace and to sensitize the management to give emphasis on addressing related issues, with the theme of “Communities make the difference”.

On the event representatives of Sebeta Town Health Office, focal of HIV AIDS team Mr. Aseffa Oljira and Sr. Asnakech Kebede presented on the current status of HIV/AIDS situation in the country and forwarded recommendations on how to create HIV/AIDS free work force and provide care and support for workers who live with the virus; in addition to that they have announced that a free services are available in their health center like cervical cancer, breast cancer and other services.

In addition to this the presenter’s stresses on the essential role that communities should play in the AIDS response both at workplaces and in the surrounding local communities.

EHPEA Gender Component Manager Mrs. Yodit Girma also gave a brief introduction on EHPEA’s efforts in addressing gender equality, gender based violence and HIV/AIDS problems at work places. Following her presentation program Manager of EHPEA also made a key note speech on the importance of communities’ response to HIV/AIDS pandemic at workplace and EHPEA’s commitment to work with the member farms in address the HIV/AIDS related problems as part of their Occupational Health and Safety standard measures.

The Farm Manager of EthioPassion, Mr. Ermisa Aragaw acknowledged EHPEA for initiating and organizing this event. He also thanked the Sebeta Health Office for providing very important awareness raising presentation on HIV/AIDS, for availing voluntary counseling and testing services for the workers.

During the event free voluntary counseling and testing services availed to the participants by Sebeta Health office extension expert for 68 volunteer employee tasted for HIV so as to know their HIV status. The program was accompanied by various entertaining programs and discussion sessions.

On the closing of the program the participants made a firm commitment to make their individual contribution for preventing themselves from HIV infection, provide the necessary support for people living with HIV and inform their close friends and families about HIV and AIDS.

European table grape market becomes stronger than last year

Conditions in the European grape market are currently much improved compared to the same period last year, according to a Netherlands-based supplier.

Prices are generally healthy and are expected to remain considerably above last year’s levels at least through January, Robert van Melle of Origin Fruit Direct told

He said the company began receiving the first Brazilian fruit during October. Brazilian grapes started shipping later than last year in order to face less competition with European fruit. Nevertheless, the overseas grape market only started opening up just a few weeks ago.

“However, I think we can say the conditions are the contrary to last year,” he said. “Last year we were under pressure and we had an oversupply of pretty much all grape crops, with the exception of Chile.”

Origin Fruit Direct is now setting up the Namibian and South African shipments, with the first fruit from its Orange River farm packed last week.

Evans Delight grapes on Origin Fruit Direct’s Farm Adelante in the Orange River, South Africa

Grape from Peru – which is growing rapidly and extending its season on both ends – have arrived earlier than in 2018. Van Melle said this could be to avoid a repeat of last year when a clash between Peru and South Africa led to “terribly low prices”.

Another difference from last year is that the U.S. market will be attractive for Peru much earlier, with California supplies now winding down.

In addition, he said that many South African exporters are attempting to diversify their markets wherever they can in order to avoid over-reliance on Europe.

Prices ‘healthy’ but will decline over coming weeks

For now, Van Melle said that the fruit is arriving in the market but at more reduced levels than normal.

Availability remains low of white seedless grapes, which he said are fetching “healthy” prices of around €17 – €17.50 FOT per 5-kilogram carton. That price is slightly above red seedless grapes, but there is also good demand on that category, he said.

One new dynamic this season is that a retailer in Germany – typically a high-paying grape market – has set its prices considerably lower this year at just €12.00 per carton CIF, a level that is only just above cost prices for South African grapes, but definitely under cost prices for the Brazilians.

The decision is having knock-on effects, with other German buyers also trying to pay lower prices. The move has also likely limited average European pricing during the start of the import season, he said.

“Some people are getting nervous. We always get a big wave of fruit before or after Christmas, and surely prices will come down again this year as well. The question is how much and how hard,” he said.

“I foresee a good scenario. My personal expectations are that we should end up on €12 – €13 in January, it might be possible to reach €14. On the other hand, if other importers are agreeing €11 or €12, that will put things under pressure again. If there was only a way to keep all our backs straight that would keep prices good and healthy.”

White seedless shortfall to precede red seedless shortfall?

Van Melle expects a “decent” season out of South Africa this year, with regular volumes. He said the initial supplies have been lighter than expected but would increase significantly from January onwards.

White seedless grape supplies could be in short supply by February, in part as India’s season is running a few weeks later due to the Monsoon rains continuing for longer than normal and delaying pruning. The country’s fruit would normally arrive from around week 7 or 8 but it could be as late as week 10 or 11 this season.

“That will create shortage on white seedless, but on red seedless things are still looking fine with South Africa,” he said.

However, he expected that Chilean grape exports to Europe – which are mainly red seedless – would be impacted by the severe drought in growing regions.

“We’re trying to make an inventory of our suppliers in Chile who can produce a normal crop. Some are reasonably okay and some not okay,” he said. Chile supplies most of Origin Fruit Direct’s red seedless volumes from around weeks 14 – 16 onward until the Egyptian season begins. “So there could be some shortage on the red seedless,” he said.

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