Lack of tax regime that takes in to consideration the peculiar characterstics of the horticulture export industry has been a challenge. cognizant of the challenges we comissioned a study. After series of consultations at different hierarchies of Ministry of Revenue, today we have deliberated at length on the study document on the challenges and remedies of the problems in the presence of, among others, State Ministers of Ministry of Agriculture and Revenue, top officials of Ministry of Revenue, and Branch Managers of Ministry of Revenue. We have reached consensus on addressing the policy vacuums for a number of ambiguous issues and also on addressing implementation challenges. Happy with this critical milestone. Our policy engagement bearing fruits as usual.
A discussion platform on practical concern of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) annual plan for 2014 E.C held today at Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute. On the meeting Horticulture Exporters drown from EHPEA member farms reflected the core challenges of the sector which needs to be addressed on the proposed action plan. State Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Ato. Wondale Habtamu stated that the sector contributed 487 million USD within 11 months and expected to reach 525 million USD by the end of this fiscal year. He also added, to have a breakthrough in the sector, improving the business climate and synergy from the responsible government offices will be mandatory. The discussion adjourned by taking all the inputs to incorporate in the annual plan.
Government Stakeholders engagement workshop held today June 15, 2021 at Holeta Yilma Hotel with the objective of Creating Decent Workplace by ensuring Gender Equality and accessing SRHR for Sustainable Horticulture Sector Development. As part of it farm visit were conducted at Agriceft farm to have a look on best employment practices.
Tana Flora PLC. inagurated the newly built class rooms donated to Tana Dar elementary school in Bahirdar to its surrounding community with a cost of 2.5 million ETB. The brand new building holds five classrooms to minimize the congestion that the school faces. It will also allow for more children to have access to a primary school education.The Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA), also extended its support by equipping the class rooms with the necessary educational tools. In addition to this, Tana Flora PLC. donated 2.7 million birr for the infrastructure of electricity. On the event different government officials and community representatives were in attendance.
EHPEA organized an experience sharing visit held on April 6/2021, at Ethio Agri CEFT Plc. farm on their best practice of recycling green waste into compost and liquid fertilizer which favours the company input supply cost reduction while conserving the environment.
The program organized in line with World Environment Day celebration with a theme “Ecosystem Restoration through Better Waste Management Practice for Safe and Sustainable Future in Horticulture Investment”.
On the visit EHPEA member farm representatives got the exposure to observe the practical Vermi-composing and Vermi-culturing outputs of the farm which makes the farm beneficial for sustainable organic horticulture production and maintaining balanced ecosystem.
Vermicomposting is a process whereby earthworms transform organic residues into compost that can be used as a substrate for plant growth.
According to Ethio Agri CEFT farm manager Ato. Leul Debas, since the company started applying this technology they managed to reduce cost of liquid fertilizer imports by 33% as well as chemical usage by 50%.
EHPEA executive director stated on his closing remarks that the Association is dedicated in creating such kind of learning platforms to support the scientific knowledge transfer has a key role for the sector’s sustainability and address environment concerns.
EHPEA members and representatives of the business community met and discussed with senior officials of the National Bank to discuss on Directive No. XD/70/2021 regarding “The Amendment of Retentions and Utilizations of Export Earning and Inward Remittances”.
Two vice governors and a director from the National Bank of Ethiopia gave an explanation about the rationales that led about the amendment of the previous directive and also the purpose of the newly incorporated clauses of the amendment.
EHPEA members have also raised their concerns and the potential impact of the newly introduced amendment on their operation. After deliberating at length agreement has been reached to make an assessment on the potential adverse impact of the new directive and also to take corrective measures on the basis of the assessment.
President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA), Ato Melaku Ezezew, on his part underscored the need to have prior consultation with stakeholders before enactment of such type of directives to minimize potential adverse impacts on the business community.
The discussion forum was organized by EHPEA and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association.
A closing session conducted today at EHPEA office, for the skill based practical training which have been provided for seven consecutive days to horticulture researchers and university lecturers at EHPEA member farms; Agriflora PLC, Ethio Agri-CEFT PLC, Joytech PLC, Nunhems Ethiopia PLC and Florensis Abyssinia Farm PLC.
According to the trainee’s reflection, the training was an inspiration to perform their research in a different direction and changed their perception of the horticulture sector in general.
EHPEA TVET Training inked for partnership with Ethiopian Agricultural Research Council Secretariat (EARCS) to collaborate for sustainable engagements on skills development knowledge and technology transfer in the horticulture sector, to strengthen the public private partnership and research – Industry linkage.
At the program State Minister for Horticulture Sector Ministry of Agriculture, Ato Wondale Habtamu stated the Ministry’s commitment to have a horticulture policy in the country as well as harmonizing the agriculture research institutes. He also added the association interventions doubles the success of the horticulture industry in the country.
EHPEA Executive Director, Ato. Tewodros Zewdie also stated that the partnership has been a breakthrough for the Agricultural Institutes in the country, and a great start for EHPEA TVET Training Centre broadening its services to public and private agri-business organizations.
The association gave a recognition certificate to its member farms who were keen to open their farm for the practical training.
The Institute caters its services for local and international institutions working on agriculture, specifically targeting on unemployed youth, officials of agri-business establishments of the public and private sector, extension workers, unions and cooperatives, TVET instructors, farm managers, agronomists, storekeepers, compliance managers, supervisors, farm scouts, and extension workers among others.
EHPEA also introduced its Code of Practice in 2007 as a voluntary initiative to guide, monitor, and communicate the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) as well as Social and Environmental considerations by farms exporting flowers and cuttings worldwide. The Code has a total of three levels, including, Bronze, Silver (which is benchmarked with the international standard Global G.A.P), and Gold level which demands the farm to actively engage in Quality Management and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
EHPEA has, so far, delivered training to nearly 50,000 farm workers. The Association awarded the Kingdom of Netherlands for its continuous support and unreserved cooperation for more than a decade to achieve this success.
At the launching event the State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture Ato. Wondale Habtamu and other government officials, farm members as well as pertinent stakeholders were in attendance.
A validation workshop on the doing business challenges of Horticulture export farms operating in Amhara Regional State held in Bahirdar at Jacaranda hotel. The survey comprises the Horticulture Industry challenges in-depth and way forward solution to enhance investment in the region.
The Head of Amhara Investment and Industry Beuro Ato. Girma Yeshitla, stated that the region should work towards maximizing the benefit of the horticulture development with in the region and their readiness to support the sector based on the findings of the study.
State Minister for Horticulture Sector Ministry of Agriculture, Ato Wondale Habtamu presented the country’s overall Horticulture investment potential and its opportunities described as fuel for Job creation, foreign currency earnings, and input for Agro-processing.
A consultative meeting on the draft Agriculture and Rural Development Policy held at Adama, Haile Resort Hotel. The meeting organized by EHPEA, considering the current need to exploit the revision opportunity to incorporate the concern challenges of the industry so as to create better environment.
The newly draft policy comprises twelve governance structures; Land and Natural Resource Management Governance, Technology and Input, Irrigation and Agriculture Water, Output markets, Export and import substitution, Rural development, Infrastructure, Private sector participation, Finance, Regulatory system, Institutional arrangements and Inclusive and sustainability, were presented and discussed at length.
At the meeting different pertinent stakeholders from the government and private sector reflected their comments which will be an input to the draft policy.
The Agricultural and Rural Development Policy revised after 18 years aimed to incorporate the latest developments and also address bottlenecks with regard to policies, regulations, directives and guidelines of the horticulture industry