ADDIS ABABA- In its endeavor to make Ethiopia attractive to horticulture and floriculture investment globally, the government has made various policy amendments and offered attractive incentives, the Ministry of Agriculture said.
Approached by The Ethiopian Herald at the sidelines of the eighth edition of Hortiflora Expo, Agriculture Minister Girma Amenete (PhD) stressed the government’s readiness to attract potential businesses in the horticulture sector.
Taking into account the role of horticulture and floriculture growers in export and the labor-intensive nature of the businesses, the government has given due emphasis to lure anchor companies. “Increasing Ethiopia’s foreign currency earnings from horticulture and floriculture exports is a matter of choice, but the question of survival for Ethiopia.”
As to him, Ethiopia’s conducive climate condition and the good policies of the government are the factors for the success registered in the export of fruit and vegetable to the international market. Yet, it is insignificant when compared with Ethiopia’s potential and as well as the desire the global market has shown for Ethiopia’s products.
Girma indicated that public-private partnership is much needed to attract more direct investment in the horticulture and floriculture sectors and stimulate economic growth. He called on the private sector to avail quality products with reasonable prices in a bid to enhance Ethiopia’s competitiveness in the global market.
All stakeholders, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies Ethiopia will work relentlessly to address the policy and administrative related challenges investors have faced during the operation phase. “We will create closer partnership with the private sector to ensure Ethiopia’s benefits from the horticulture and floriculture sectors.”
The minister further highlighted that the lifestyle changes in the global community and the shift towards fruit and vegetables is another good opportunity that the country should capture. “We need to make maximum efforts to capitalize on this opportunity and equip the production with modern technologies.”
The increased product and productivity of the horticulture and floriculture sub-sectors is of great significance to ensure food security and improve the livelihood of citizens. The area also has immense potential to create jobs for the youth and supplement Ethiopia’s forex reserves.
According to the Board Chair of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPA), an organizer of the expo, Nega Mequanint, the show is quite important to lure more investment to Ethiopia and also for concluding business deals.
Nearly 100 local exhibitors and buyers and input suppliers from 35 countries took part in the expo that was hosted by the EHPA. Ethiopia secured over 400 million USD from the horticulture sub- sector in the past 10 months of the current fiscal year.
The Ethiopian Herald March 12/ 2023 BY ESSEYE MENGISTE