MoF approves Tax Free Imports of Agricultural Mechanization, Irrigation and Animal Feed Technologies

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) approved the imports of agricultural mechanization, irrigation and animal feed technologies, and equipment to be tax-free. The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) initiated the tax reform policy by conducting a cost-benefit analysis and identified and listed the equipment to be imported tax-free.

Based on the study recommendation by ATA, the Agricultural Transformation Council provided direction to facilitate farmers’ access to agricultural technologies which will ensure food security at the household level and national nutrition development, the MoA formally submitted the tax wavering request in December 2018.

This tax reform is aimed at enhancing the agriculture sector by removing duty and taxes on imports of farming machinery, irrigation and drainage equipment as well as animal feed ingredients and technologies; providing incentives to invest in the importation and local production of these technologies.

The MoF wrote the letter of approval to the Customs Commission with a list of technologies and equipment to be imported tax-free.


For further info see details in the Ministry’s letter @:

Turkish Cargo to start flying to Addis

Turkish Airlines, which recently moved its airport from Ataturk to Istanbul, will begin flying cargo planes to Addis Ababa.
Turkish flies to 56 African destinations which is the second highest next to Ethiopian and their desire to increase their market in Africa even further. Company officials who met with Ethiopian journalists at the Istanbul headquarters stated that Africa remains the priority for Turkish Airlines, as the air carrier expands to all four corners of the world. They said that aviation would continue growing in the future and Turkish would grow more than the global trend.

As of April 6 the airlines began using the newly built ultra-modern Istanbul Airport replacing their older hub at Ataturk Airport. Once completed in 2027, the Istanbul airport is expected to be the busiest airport in the world with six runways and four terminals that can accommodate 200 million passengers a year.
Tuncay Eminoglu, Vice President for Asia and Far East at Turkish Airlines says they have gone from 162 planes and 3 million passengers in 2003 to 515 aircraft and 30 million passengers in 2018. In the decade between 2008 and 2018 they experienced a passenger growth rate of 12.8 percent, three times the world’s average.

By 2023 Turkish hopes to serve 140 million passengers. Currently, according to 2017 International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics the Airline serves the 17th highest number of flyers in the world but according to Eminoglu, by 2032 they expect to be in the top ten. The IATA forecasted in 2018, that China, the US, India and Indonesia would be the fastest growing countries in terms of passengers.
Turkey is rapidly transporting more passengers and cargo so the new airport will be able to serve the highest number of passengers in the world, park 500 planes, feature 500 check-in points and accommodate 143 boarding bridges. The 700,000sqm airport will also have the largest maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) in the world.
At the new airport the aviation firm manages three run ways and they expect to serve 90 million passengers this year and carry 2.5 million tons of cargo. The project has three phases and each phase will increase cargo capacity by 5.5 million tons. By the end of the project the number of passengers would double to 200 million. The company officials explained that by 2025, the aviation sector will contribute 4.9 percent to the GDP and 225,000 jobs. When the airport is finished it will have six runways and four terminals.

Istanbul, which attracts tourists from around the world with its vast historic and cultural heritages and natural location that divides Europe with Asia. In 2017 the country was visited by 40 million tourists, the seventh most in the world.

World Day for Safety and Health marked in Addis Ababa

EHPEA places emphasis on precautionary measures to avert occupational safety problems
World Day for Safety and Health 2019 was marked on Friday May 03, 2019 at national level with a tripartite panel discussion held at Blue Sky Hotel in Addis Ababa. The Day, marked for the 16th and 15th time at World and national levels respectively, has been themed: “Safety and Health and the Future of Work.” Representatives and panelists from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), Employers and Employees Unions took part in the tripartite panel discussion.

During the discussion Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) Executive Director Tewodros Zewdie said Occupational Safety and Health is not only part and parcel of basic human rights but it is vital to sustainable growth and development. “The number of lives lost in connection with occupational safety is not insignificant. Problems occurring with occupational safety cause huge social and economic problems to employers and society, government and countries at large. The problem is yet unaddressed.”

Tewodros said it is often possible to avert mostoccupational safety-related problems through taking precautionary measures before they inflict enormous losses. Thus, focusing on the ways and means of prevention, every actor in the sector is expected to contribute part through introducing a strong follow up platform on attitudinal, procedural and standards management.

The Executive  Director stressed on the indispensability of adequate awareness creation activity through strengthening Employer-Government-Labour tripartite relationships.

Indicating that the concerted effort made by the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) has made modest contribution to the national development drive, the sector has created numerous opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises across the country.

After the introduction of EHPEA Code of Practice – professional ethics — some 12 years ago, impressive achievements have been witnessed with respect to boosting the productivity and profitability of farms in the sector. With a view to applying the Code, EHPEA has been making relentless effort towards furthering occupational safety and related matters through capacity building trainings.

On the occasion, MoLSA Industry Occupational Safety and Health Team Leader Mesfin Yilma highlighted that utmost attention has to be given to occupational safety and labour health in higher education researches so that strides could be made in the area.

Royal FloraHolland traded over 12 bln products in 2018

In 2018, 12.1 billion flowers and plants were traded at the Royal FloraHolland marketplace. Product sales amounted to € 4.65 billion, a slight decrease of 0.8% compared to 2017. The warm summer in Europe and the cold weather conditions in the most important production areas in Africa are an explanation for this. The average prices were slightly higher in 2018 than in 2017. The flowers and plants were supplied by 5,550 suppliers and purchased by 2,465 customers. This is apparent from the 2018 annual report that was published on 15 April 2019.

CEO Steven van Schilfgaarde: “We focus on developing the combination of the digital and physical marketplace for flowers and plants. That is where our future lies. Royal FloraHolland develops new services in the area of ​​deal making, financial settlement and logistics, aimed at growers and their buyers. Services that make our customers successful. The extra attention to improving daily services and the focus on our core activities has paid off. Major investments were made in 2018. As a result, customer satisfaction improved greatly in 2018. ” .

Royal FloraHolland is committed to a future-proof floriculture sector in which flowers and plants are grown and traded with respect for people and the environment. As a participant in the Floriculture Sustainable Initiative, Royal FloraHolland is committed to making the production of members more sustainable. The target for 2020 is to have 90% of the products grown and traded sustainably. In 2018 the percentages were 40% for flowers and 63% for plants. Sustainability also includes the use of sustainable packaging. Royal FloraHolland is one of the signatories to the Plastic Pact.

With more than 100,000 transactions per day and more than 30,000 different types of flowers and plants, Royal FloraHolland is the international marketplace and knowledge partner that contributes to the success of growers and buyers. Royal FloraHolland has an annual turnover of 4.65 billion euros, 4,031 members and 2,465 buyers. 12.1 billion flowers and plants were sold in 2018. In addition to the Floriday digital platform, Royal FloraHolland has 4 physical market places where numerous logistics and other service activities are performed. These physical hubs are located in Aalsmeer, Naaldwijk, Rijnsburg and Eelde. Royal FloraHolland offers the possibility of digital and physical auctioning through 35 auction clocks, according to FlowerWeb.

New tech keeps flowers fresh from harvest to shipping

“This technology is well-known in other industries, but we are the first farm in the world that will use it in cut flowers,” Pablo Bazzani of Plazoleta Flowers proudly says. The technology he refers to is Dry-C, an innovative method that controls the temperature and humidity of their flowers before shipment. “It allows us to set the flowers in optimal conditions to handle external challenges during transportation that can impact their quality and freshness, hence, arriving at its final destination in the soundest conditions. We now control something most farms did not believe can be controlled.”

But what is the reason of this Colombian flower farm for starting to use this technology? “Our flowers are exposed to external challenges during transportation that can go beyond our control. Extreme temperature changes, missing flight connections, and long transits in sea containers can impact the quality of our varieties. So, along the years we had seen how some claims came from our customers even when all the team did an exceptional job preparing the freshest flowers to our customer.”

“We truly understand all the logistic challenges that our flowers have to sort out to get to the final destination, so we decided to tackle this issue hands-on, trying to get control on something most of the companies believe cannot control.”

Together with the support of several Dutch companies, we started developing and implementing the Dry-C technology suitable for their cut flowers. “It was not just one thing; it is the result of gathering many improved processes usually used by the farms but including some technologies used for example in the food industry. Dry-C Technology is the result of years of hard work.”

The trial period took more than six months setting all the different varieties lines. “It is not the same processing an Alstroemeria or a dry product like Limonium Sinensis, so the stricter challenge was to identify all the breakpoints in terms of temperature and humidity of each variety and type of flower we grow.”

So how does it work? “It all starts at the field,” explains Bazzani. “As soon as the flowers are cut we take them in record time to a temp controlled post-harvest. Once the flowers get to the line, they stop by a chamber that cools down the temperature to 4 degrees in a short time and takes off all the surface water, getting ready to start all the hydration, bunching and packaging process all under a temp controlled atmosphere. At the end of the process, all the boxes go through another chamber specially set depending on the variety that cools the flowers to 2 degrees again drying the flowers, so they get to the logistic agents in optimal conditions to start their journey to the final customer. Even more, resistant to any undesirable delay or temp variation.”

According to Bazzani, Dry-C works outstandingly in all their varieties. “It gives exceptional results in Alstroemeria, Limonium Sinensis, Statice, Solidago, Snapdragon and Leucadendron.”

One of their main goals is to reduce the number of claims. “We are still on the road to get more statistics, but our goal is to reduce all claims by 70% by the end of this year.”

“All we are looking for by using this method is to keep our customers satisfied with the products we grow. We genuinely think that our biggest challenge is to provide competitiveness to our customer by choosing Plazoleta.”

Macfrut Exhibition to be opened next week

The 36th edition of Macfrut exhibition, the most important event of fruit and vegetables in Italy, will take place in Rimini, Rimini Expo Centre May 08-10, 2019
Close to 400 new buyers from around the world are expected to be part of the event at five exhibition halls. Participating exhibitors will represent 11 sectors, covering the entire fruit and vegetable supply industry: seeds, breeding & nursery, crop technology, production, trading and retail, post-harvest machinery & technology, packaging materials, fresh-cut produce, dried fruit, logistics and services.

The Italian Trade Agency in Addis Ababa has been facilitating to enable relevant farms and companies in Ethiopia to take part in the Macfrut 2019.

Accordingly, at a Country Pavilion designated for Ethiopia at the Expo Center, along with the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) Almeta Impex PLC, Beles Agame PLC, Ethamco LLC-Ethiopia Branch, Meki Batu Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Cooperative Union, Raya Horti Farms and Small Holder Horticulture Project (SHP), among others, are the co-exhibitors of the event.

It is to be recalled that ITA and EHPEA jointly provided training in March for companies set to take part in the Macfrut 2019, Fruit & Veg Professional Show in Italy.

Farm shifting from perishable to preserved flowers

In a way that makes it different from other horticultural farms the 12-year old company, Gallica Flowers PLC, is pressing ahead with its project on preserving of flowers. Situated at Menagesha, Oromia Special Zone, the Company is known for its quality products. The higher altitude at Menagesha is a comparative advantage for the farm in flowers production.

Cut flowers are the predominant export commodity for our company. But, in order to cope with the major problems faced recently we are shifting from perishable to non-perishable products through preserving of flowers. The new technique would enable us to keep natural flowers fresh for years. “We preserve, package and export flowers. It took us three years to attain here. In so doing, we use a viable but effective technique,”Gallica General Manager Stephane Mottier said.

“The issue of land has not been settled. Though we signed a 30-year contract at the start the regional government came up with a new directive which led us to revoke the previous one and sign a 15-year contract for a twenty-hectare additional land we received.”

Up to know the company has created 350 jobs for youngsters and local household members in the area. The company has the potential to create over 1,000 jobs provided that the land lease issue is settled and the company is allowed to develop the remaining land not yet utilized.

According to the General Manager, the increased cost of inputs and packaging, foreign currency inconsistency, diminishing workers productivity, the changing climatic condition and the excess flower production at global market are some of the challenges the company is expected to work out in order to maintain its track record.

Company Farm Manager Gizachew Wondimu also noted that the company is testing a lot of products presently. “We undertake the task of preserving using a mix of flowers, seeds and herbs. Though our target is the international market we have also sold preserved flowers locally at Sheraton and Hilton hotels.”

The Farm Manager said the company is doing well with regard to CSR. So far we have developed potable water service at three spots for surrounding households. The company is ready to capitalize on corporate social responsibility activities done so far.

Government intervention and close support is quite essential to help overcome obstacles in horticulture investments. The existing investors should serve as an ambassadors. Instead of Dutch auction the company opts for direct market supply to countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

EHPEA taking actions to realize Training Institute

One of the services EHPEA has been providing to member farms is training. EHPEA is currently taking meaningful steps to upgrade its training department to institute level in order to support the horticulture farms with full-fledged and need based training programs.

Within this framework, the EHPEA training department and members of related departments attended a training organized in cooperation with the Addis Ababa TVET Agency focusing mainly on training methodology and developing curricula.  Mikias Bekele from the training department of EHPEA indicated that the next step is to finalize the task of curricula preparation and teaching guides to be derived from the occupation standards which are the key requirements for the accreditation of the training institute.

In parallel, the department is also working to share experiences from the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce on how BMOs bring income generating and demand driven training centers into reality.

Mikias lauded the support and role of the German Training and Development Center – bfz in organizing the training, contacting trainers and providing technical assistance for the establishment of the institute.

Ethiopia formulates first seed policy

Ethiopia has drafted its first ever seed policy aimed at administering the whole seed value chain from production to distribution with the purpose of ensuring a timely and quality supply of seeds to farmers.

The policy covers the activities and involvement of stakeholders in the processes of variety development, production and distribution to smallholder farmers. The policy is believed to help in addressing challenges faced by stallholder farmers in getting quality seeds in a timely fashion.

The policy also aims at enhancing productivity, assuring bio-diversity conservation, maintaining and security, modernizing and developing a globally competent seed industry by giving special emphasis to the private sector.

Further, the policy is expected to enable the country become self-sustained in seed supply, substitute seed imports and generate income from the export of seeds.

The Ethiopian Seed Association noted that the participation of the private sector in improved seed production and supply would be encouraged.

Drafted by a task force drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ethiopian Development Research Institute over the past two years, the policy was submitted for approval to the council of ministers two months ago.

Contact Info

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

Phone : +251 11 6631760/6750

P.O.Box: 22241 Code 1000


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