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.

Biological method developed to extend shelf life

A team of scientists recently developed a new approach to prolonging shelf life. They say the biological procedure could serve as an alternative to chemical-based methods.

Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology at TU Graz teamed up with the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology to develop this natural method.

What they found was that a process called hot water treatment, or HWT, combined with a biological agent decreased storage rot and reduced harmful fungi.

It works by engaging the fruit’s natural defences through a “heat shock”. The addition of the bio-agent caused a stir in the microbiology world because it was found have a stronger impact on fungus than HWT alone.

While the team only tested the ecological method on apples and sugar beets, it could apply to many kinds of produce.

They say it has sweeping implications for minimizing food loss in increasingly environmentally-conscious markets.

How the biological method works

In the experiment, scientists infected apples with elements that cause decay.

Then, they gave the fruit a hot water bath. This included treatment with a biologically based agent. As a result, the process killed, or reduced in size, post-harvest pathogens.

Fruit treated with this method was 20% more resistant than fruit that was only treated with hot water.

The bio-agent would therefore significantly minimize food losses, said the researchers.

“This combined approach is a sustainable and ecologically sound way to reduce apple blight. On the basis of this method, we can optimize apple storage together with industrial project partners,” explained Gabriele Berg, head of the institute.

Related developments

Apart from focusing on methodology, the team specifically looked into the microbiome of apples and crop protection for sugar beets.

In one study, they wanted to understand how HWT impacts the microorganisms in apples. They found that the microbiome of an organic apple differs greatly from that of a conventional apple.

The team also investigated crop protection for sugar beets by looking at the fruit’s sugar levels. Conclusions revealed that there is a way to identify if sugar beets are susceptible to rot even before they are harvested.

This development could save millions of sugar beets, according to the team. It could also decrease economic losses.

EHPEA Realized a Country Pavilion at IFTF Expo

EHPEA represents member farms at IFTF expo happening at time of this news write-up in Vijfhuizen, Holland, from November 6 to 8, 2019. EHPEA realized a 60m2 country pavilion for the first time which creates a better platform for co-exhibitor farms; namely Afri Flowers PLC, ZK Flower PLC, Desa Plants PLC & Tinaw Business S.C. The co-exhibiting farms display different varieties of flowers; like Standard Roses, Spray Rose, Gypsophilia and Cuttings of Ornamental Plants.

Besides, EHPEA promotes investment opportunities in the nation so as to further build the image of the country and introducing the brand of its member farms and their produce.

On the expo the new Ethiopian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr. Million Samuel visited EHPEA country pavilion and encouraged the growers who were taking part at the expo.

2019 IFTF Co-exhibitors profile:-  

Afri Flower PLC, established in 2014 located its farm at Holeta 22 km from Addis Ababa; which is a perfect combination of altitude and climate an ideal place to grow high quality, long lasting, beautiful flowers. A select group of very qualified Ecuadorian flower technicians, together with the valued local workers, in total 475 employees have created a perfect team committed to providing customers with the highest quality products and service. ​The farm growing a stunning array of Tea Roses, Spray Roses and a variety of summer flowers such as the world three best Gypso varieties from Danziger: Xlence, Galaxy & Million Star with different colors and sizes for export to Middle East, Asia and Europe.

ZK Flower PLC, engaged in Rose flower export business since its establishment in 2008 G.C. located 50KM East of Addis Ababa Debrezei/Bishoftu.  Currently the farm exports over 10 varieties of high-quality roses to Holland, growing its export from 14-16 stems in 2018, projected to export 18 -20million stem in 2020 G.C under the production area of 16.5 ha. It also creates job opportunity for 500 people whom 80 percent of them are women.

Tinaw Business S.C, incorporated locally and established in 2006 G.CP producing cut roses for export market on its 32 ha farm that comprises of 16 varieties that includes Belle Rose, Labelle, Marie –Claire, Mariyo, Heidi, Count Down, Bisou, Athena, Burgundy, Out Law, Tacazzi, MoonWalk, Upper Class, New Orleans, Glow and Patz, with the average length of 40 to 70cm and produces over 30million stems of flowers per year for International market. . The farm is located in an altitude of 1970m South West of Addis Ababa with a land of  The company has directly employed 800 people and support a large sizeable community in the nearby localities by providing clean water as well as participating in construction of rural roads.

Desa Plants PLC, is a Belgian company established in 2007 producing cuttings of ornamental plants located in Ejersa, 83km from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The company started with 4 hectares of greenhouses in 2008 and in the meantime has expanded to 20 hectares of greenhouses. Also the assortment of ornamental plant cuttings has widely expanded. Next to a wide assortment of pelargonium cuttings, Desa Plants exports cuttings of dipladenia, poinsettia, bedding plants, herbs and perennials all over the world.

Desa Plants produces about 60 million cuttings of ornamental plants and pot plants per year exporting mainly to the European and Northern American market. The company now employs 650 people and is managed by a team of motivated Belgian and Ethiopian professionals committed to produce and export top quality cuttings with respect for people and environment.

Experience Sharing Program on Kenya Waste Management Technology Organized

EHPEA in collaboration with Bayern Training & Development Center (bfz gGmbH) organized an experience sharing program which incorporates a team of delegates from EHPEA and Oromia regional state representatives.

The team visited 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.

The visit program comprises of a visit to JKUAT University, Florensis Kenya, Gorge farm energy park, Lake Naivasha, crop nut laboratory, OSP, Lake Naivasha water shade management (PPP) and subati horticulture.

Practical experience on management of waste and renewable energy was composed for further incorporation to Ethiopian context. The bilateral coordination will further augmented to farms in Ethiopian to uphold sustainability.

Ethiopian Electric Utility discussed with stakeholders

A stakeholder’s consultative meeting organized by Ethiopian Electric Utility held in Gihon Hotel on November 4, 2019.

The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) is one of the public enterprises assigned both to widen and modernize universal access to electricity. As part of its responsibility of expanding the service with utmost suitability and simplicity the organization discussed focussing to strength its service as per the stakeholders demand.

As a major stakeholder, Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) participated in the meeting.  Mr. Yhohanes Abebe, Technical Advisor of the Association deliberated challenges of the sector and the need of immediate action to be taken as the sector require due attention of the office.

Europe continues to import more fresh fruit and vegetables from developing countries

Margins suffered in 2018 due to excessive supply, but the market is recovering in 2019

How will the future look like for fresh fruit and vegetables in Europe? Will there be a profitable market? These questions have been worrying many exporters in developing countries. However, a profitable market is not just about the European consumer demand. Production volumes and product availability can also significantly influence consumption.

Europe continues to increase the total import value of fresh fruit and vegetables from developing countries. These values have actually increased faster than imported product volumes in the past few years. According to statistics, the total import value from developing countries increased 38% in five years, reaching 18.2 billion euros in 2018.

Exotic, more expensive fruit that have become more popular with European consumers in recent years, such as blueberries, avocados, mangoes and pomegranates, all helped push these values higher. Sourcing sustainable fresh products, on the other hand, has also become very complex and time consuming, hence more expensive.

But growing imports not always means a blessing. In reality, 2018 was a disastrous year for the margins of a large number of exporters. It was a good year in terms of production, but prices were much lower than expected, since the market was forced to absorb an excessive supply of tropical and counter-seasonal fruit from countries such as Peru and South Africa.

Ethiopian Airlines Group Launches Sustainability Initiative to Support Local Farmers

Ethiopian Airlines, has launched an innovative capacity development initiative aimed at creating local value in agricultural products. The forward-looking development initiative is tailored to support cooperative unions comprising millions of farmers with innovations and technology, thereby ensure their international market penetration.

While discussing with Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group Chief Executive Officer at Ethiopian headquarters, stakeholders drawn from government agencies and farmers’ cooperative unions have expressed their gratitude on the launch of the capacity development program and vowed to work together.

Mr. Tewolde on his part remarked, “We are delighted to have launched the initiative which is geared towards enhancing the livelihood of Ethiopian farmers as well as supporting them in competing in the global market place. We will keep sharing our experience and underpin the implementation of the import substitution strategy of our country with consistent and progressive local value creation (LVC) endeavours.”

Ethiopian sources organic produces directly from the farm and significantly contributes to the import substitution move of the economy.

Ethio Agri-CEFT starts producing essential oils at Holleta Agri-Flower farm

Agri–Flower and Agri-Lake Flower farms, divisions of Ethio Agri-CEFT, are dedicated to the export of rose cut flowers for markets across the world. The topography and optimum climate of the farms provide suitable conditions for production. The farms have been producing about 40 million stems per annum.

In addition, all farms of Ethio Agri-CEFT exercise:

  1. Environmentally Sustainability: All of the company’s farms exercise environmentally sustainable practices to cultivate, grow, harvest and pack flowers. Some practices include collecting and storing rain water, use of effective irrigation technology, waste recycling, and limiting the use of chemicals for pest control by combining them with traditional techniques.
  2. Social responsibility: the company provides a socially responsible safe work environment to sustain fair living conditions for employees and the surrounding community.

Agri-Flower farm began its environmental sustainability plan in 2017. This environmental sustainability plan in 2017. This strategy included the symbiotic development of sheep farming beekeeping and fishery on site.

It has recently begun planting different medicinal and herbal plants such as Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Neem trees which has insect repellent effects. The company plans on using the essential oils produced by the farms as potential insect pest control on the farm reducing the use of synthetic pesticides in the flower growing process. To ensure adequate processing capacity they have installed an essential oil processor which has the capacity to extract 100 kg of herbs/seeds per hour.

In addition, they extract 7,500 litres of compost tea per day and using it as organic fertilizer. This will help the company to satisfy customers in order to have good head size and long vase life. The company also intends to sell the essential oils to various users in the local and international markets.

The company has received the GlobalGAP certificate.

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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