Promoting Gender Equality to Prevent Gender Based Violence;in 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 January 14th and 15th, 2020.  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 Wolemera Woreda, Ejere woreda and Sebeta town of Labor and Social Affair, Women Children and Youth Office, Justic e Office and Police are among the participants.

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.

The workshop concluded by developing a joint action plan to work in collaboration to address the workplace Gender Based violence and Occupational Health and Safety issues.

Agricultural Waste Used for Car Parts

Researchers at Spain’s University of Alicante are addressing high levels of agricultural waste by using it in car parts. Head researcher María Carmen Garrigós told that the work, named Project Barbara, places new value in agricultural residue.

The team works to incorporate parts of fruits and vegetables into things like dashboards and car doors, among other things. They do this by breaking down parts of the products and fusing them with already-existing materials.

Through 3D technology, said Garrigós, they “create car parts and construct mechanical devices that work better”. According to Garrigós, the project uses lemons, pomegranates, broccoli and almond skins. Additives extracted from these agricultural products protect car parts and make them more stable, he explained. For instance, the properties of almond skin provided a structure similar to wood in strength, detailed Garrigós.

Currently, the team uses fruits and vegetables like to create natural colors for cars. This provides a different kind of color than the typical synthetics. “Organic products could also be used for their natural colors and fragrances.

Through antimicrobial activation, things like carrots and oranges could be used,” she explained. In addition, lemon residue can be used to make materials that give off a nice smell that could be useful for car manufacturers and rental places. Even corn contains polysaccharides, which can be used to improve the properties of some parts. She also added that these products often create a lot of waste in the region. This is why the team chose these specific produce items. Barbara began in May 2017. With plans to finish in April of 2020, it was financed by a program in the EU called BBI JU (Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking). The project is a collaboration of various research groups in the university and the technological center Aitiip.

EU Avocado Market: Large Hass to Remain Scarce amid Strong Green Skinned Demand

The European avocado market supply shortage is expected to ease over the coming weeks, but importers say the availability of larger sizes will remain limited.

Their comments came after a very different few months in the EU avocado market compared to last year, when oversupply pushed prices to rock bottom.

Elena Rogojnikova of Netherlands-based The Greenery told that the avocado market so far in 2019 has been “exactly the opposite” of 2018.

“In the summer of 2018 followed by September and October, we faced a huge oversupply of Hass avocados from South Africa and Peru that resulted in extremely low market prices,” she said.

“In 2019, the lack of avocados in the European market is a consequence of the situation in the USA. Due to higher prices over there, a lot of producers from Mexico and Peru have sent their avocados there instead of Europe.”

Rogojnikova explained the shortage this year occurred mostly in bigger sizes (from 12 to 20), which fetched “extremely high” prices. Conversely, she said that there is an abundance of small Hass avocados – mainly from Chile and Colombia – putting prices of those sizes under pressure. Chile’s crop is around 25% lower, she said, and the ongoing drought is one of the main reasons behind the smaller sizings.

In addition, she said there have been “some logistical difficulties” due to the social unrest in the country. However, Colombia Hass avocado production is growing every year, she said. Spain has also recently started its season, and Israeli Hass supplies are expected to start in December. “Over the coming weeks, bigger sizes will remain short and the prices will remain high,” she said.

Relative avocado undersupply likely to continue

Matthew Glancy, procurement manager at U.K.-based Minor, Weir and Willis had also found the 2018 avocado market situation to be completely reversed this year.

The severe undersupply of fruit which had made conditions challenging, he said. Some of the bigger Peruvian shippers had seen crop reductions of 30%-50% and had decided to focus more heavily on what fruit they had on the U.S. market, where the California crop was down substantially. He said the Chilean avocados are far smaller than recent years because of the drought.

The season would also likely finish earlier than normal, he said. “On a normal year they would finish around March, but this season it would finish in the first or second week of January,” he said.

With Colombian avocado volumes rising around this time of year – and with Spanish, Mexican and some early Israeli Hass coming through – he said that fruit availability would increase. However, he still expected a general undersupply situation to continue. “We’ll still be relatively short on supply,” he said. “But there are a couple of things that can tip it – somebody coming it with a bit more might make a difference. It doesn’t take a huge amount to go into an oversupply or undersupply situation. “What seems to be happening – a lot to do with Chile – is there’s a lot of smaller fruit available, and large and medium fruit is still relatively short on supply. So we need people to be looking at to be promoting what we’ve got.”

Buoyant green-skinned avocado market

He added that this year there seemed to be a greater move toward green-skinned avocados, which are naturally larger than Hass.

Rogojnikova noted that the green-skinned avocado season from South Africa was stable this year, albeit with an earlier finish than normal. “There was enough volume and nearly no quality issues,” she said. Israeli Galil and Ettinger varieties are in the avocado market with slightly lower volumes than last year, she said, which has resulted in “stable and high prices”.

The quality of both Galil and Ettinger was good this year, with no major quality issues. Ettinger will be followed by Arad and Pinkerton in December,” she said. Meanwhile, the Spanish Bacon season is almost finished, and the first Fuerte avocados have fetched reasonably good prices.

Creating Effective Workplace Safety

Identifying and mitigating exposures to occupational hazards before work begins is the core point of all safety and health professionals. Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) training department, offers a basic outline through its interpretation of the Occupational Health and Safety Training.

The training delivered for 33 OHS officers drawn from EHPEA member farms at its office meeting hall from December 31, 2019- January 03, 2020 having an objective of creating Safe Working Environment in the farm by focusing on course content such as; Importance of Health & Safety, Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment, OHS Audit, OHS Policy Preparation and Implementation.

In addition to class room training; a one-day practical farm visit has been conducted at Olij Roses PLC to share an experience on implementation of safe working practices.

Ellepot introducing new paper for organic production

Ellepot has developed and patented a new technology for their Ellepot propagation papers, and the first product in a new line to come is Ellepot Organic 2.0.

The new propagation paper – Ellepot Organic 2.0 consist of 100% fully compostable and degradable materials. The new patented technology for the paper is the result of six years’ intense product development. A development process to ensure environmental compliance at every stage of the paper’s life cycle, including material selection, handling, testing, & degradation.

Certified and ideal for organic production

With a decomposition time of 6-8 weeks, the new Ellepot Organic 2.0 is ideal for producers of organic crops and crops with a shorter propagation time. The paper is made from wood fibers sourced from FSC certified forests and other controlled sources, and is furthermore approved by the Soil Association in UK. The new product is also approved as input for organic crops in Denmark, Sweden & Canada. Soil Association is one of the world’s leading and oldest certifiers for organic crops, assuring conformity to the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility. On a finishing note, Ellepot have applied to have the Ellepot Organic 2.0 certified according to the “Home Compost” and “Biodegradable in Soil” certifications.

Ellepot Organic 2.0

    • Based on renewable wood fibers from FSC certified forests and other controlled sources
    • 100% degradable in soil
    • Certified and approved for organic production (UK, Sweden, Canada & Denmark)

Great root development resulting in faster growth & healthier plants

  • Suitable for all plant propagation, field planting, & farming of organic produce.

LEDs the Future of the Industry

He’s convinced that ultimately, the whole horticulture industry will switch to water-cooled LED lights. Being a producer of the product that doesn’t come as a surprise, but Jan Mol of Oreon has a story behind the products. “It originated in the search for a more sustainable alternative. We succeeded in that, both in terms of usage figures and longevity. In cultivation, we also see the advantage of having your lights produce significantly less heat. You have much more control over your climate, and the plant balance is better.”

“Growers want more light, but not more heat in their cultivation. They want to decrease energy use in the greenhouse, and minimize the amount of maintenance the lights need to undergo. We started from those ideas when we discovered the possibilities of LED lights.” This is said by Jan Mol, director of LED lighting specialist Oreon. Together with his colleagues, he came across this way of lighting, which was new at the time, 15 years ago. They immediately saw the possibilities for lowering energy use and increasing longevity. Via street lights, they ended up in horticulture.

The water-cooled luminaires make it possible to significantly increase the intensity of the lighting without adding heat to the crop, something that was initially particularly popular with cultivations like hydroponic lettuce, herbs and cresses, where heat plays a major role.

Now they’re seeing more and more tomato growers making the switch as well, in order to be able to work with higher levels of lighting. It’s one of the things they do a lot of research into at Oreon: what does the plant want? How does it react to a certain amount and type of light? And how can they deliver that? “That’s about the amount of light you can administer to a plant and the kind of light. LED has opened up a whole new field of research, because you can also steer on spectrum. That used to be unimaginable. Now we research how we can optimize that steering of the cultivation: with a red-blue spectrum, or by adding extra far-red light. In recent years a lot has been discovered there, but we keep focusing on optimization.”

The fact that the climate is disconnected from the lighting also offers new cultivation opportunities. “It used to be that those two couldn’t be controlled separately, because more light automatically equaled more heat. That’s not the case anymore, and this offers new opportunities and new research questions. You have much more control over your climate. How can you make the most of that?” And that’s not the only thing. For instance, in tomato cultivation, radiation heat actually has a role. “That’s why we now see a lot of growers going for a hybrid solution, with LED being combined with traditional SON-T lighting. Then we want to know if we can meet that heat demand with infrared on the top of the plant. That makes lighting in tomatoes also suitable in warmer climates.”

Oreon lights are all over the world now. “The US, Russia, Canada, Australia, Europe and soon Asia”, Jan lists. “We’re also seeing a lot of applications in indoor and vertical farming. There, cooling the facility is often a big issue. What you don’t heat, doesn’t have to be cooled either – so there water-cooled lights are very welcome.” The technology is now so advanced that at a number of growers, the heat from lighting is used in cultivation again, for example in heating the cultivation floor or the irrigation water.

The LED luminaires themselves are also continuously being developed further. For instance, together with suppliers, a brass coupler is being replaced with aluminum. A small difference, but with important consequences. The design of the luminaires is also important, of course. “The luminaire’s design means dirt can’t amass on the light. It’s also waterproof (IP67), so cleaning and disinfecting isn’t a problem,” Jan shows. “Especially with diseases and viruses popping up everywhere, that’s a major advantage.”


“Ultimately I expect everyone will switch to water cooling”, Jan concludes. “The luminaire is small, it emits a lot of light and thanks to the good cooling it has a long lifespan. Currently growers are still working with a depreciation period that’s equal to that of SON-T lights. LED surpasses that by far, we expect – and with a more stable output. The lights we installed ten years ago are still in perfect working order.” Because of this, he’s confidently looking to the future. “Now we often see that the choice for lighting is based on the price per mmol. That’s ultimately only a part of the story. In practice, you can realize more light hours with water-cooled LED lights, thus getting better ROI. In addition, you’ve got more control over your climate, with less ventilation and thus less heating. All things put together, the choice is easy.”

Oreon doesn’t seem to be the only company to realize this: over the year, more and more competitors in the water-cooled segments have appeared. Still, he doesn’t see that as a threat. “We’re so convinced of this product that I would be surprised if competitors didn’t appear. What’s more, the company was established with the idea of making lighting more sustainable. Good competition only encourages innovation and sustainability in the industry.”

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.

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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