Aiming to create awareness on horticulture investment in the Amhara region, a horticulture festival held in Bahir Dar city December 10th, 2019 at Grand Hotel. The Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) has been engaged in conducting field visits and horticultural investment forums across the region, reaching out to local communities, government bodies and students as part of its key intervention areas of promotion.
The main objective of the Horticulture Festival, is to provide a forum for the people of the region to increase their understanding of the sector and to create new partnerships with major investors engaged in the sector, stated Mr. Yohoanes Abebe EHPEA Technical Advisor on his opening remarks. Following the opening remark, Mr. Gethahun Mekonen (PhD), D/head of Amhara Industry and Investment office presented the region abundant resource which is suitable for Horticulture investment that can transform its economy and improved livelihood of the community.
On the festival a panel discussion organized where different stakeholders presented and share their experiences towards the sector investment.
Potential Horticultural crops for export and import substitution in Amhara region presented by Mr. SemagnAsredie(PhD), Amhara Agricultural Research Institute. On his presentation he mentioned the three identified horticultural potential corridors: Tana , Kobo and Shewa Robit/ DebreBirhan, where the lands are suitable for Potato Seed Production, Potato processing,
Cool season vegetables seed production and marketing , Banana Production and ripening, Avocado Production and processing, Temperate fruits production and out grower salad production.
He also stressed on the necessities of facilities for investors like an international airstrip, a cargo centre and fast developing infrastructure to be taking into consideration Commitment of the region to encourage investment.
Representative of Bahirdar University Horticulture Department Instructor Mrs. Masho Aklile, presented the department courses and academic linkage of the horticulture investment areas.
Hass avocado investment opportunities in the region also presented by Mr. Wale Getaneh Smallholder Horticulture Project Coordinator.
Mr. Ben Depraetere, Managing Director & Country Head BASF Vegetable Seeds Ethiopia shared his experience on Seed propagation potential and challenges mentioning his interest to invest in the region as well.
Mr.Jan, Kokavege owner and manager also share his experience on out- grower scheme challenges and opportunities.
On the panel discussion participants reflected their opinions and questions stressing their readiness and eagerness to be part of the investment, mentioning the companies who have already got land in Kunzila to start their work as soon as possible.
The mini expo of 12 EHPEA member farms and unions who displayed their products made the event colourful which was visited by over 150 Bahir Dar city youths.
Representatives of different stakeholders from North Gojam (Semen Achefer, Liben and Kunzila), Bahir Dar city responsible government offices, banks, investors, community leaders were in attendance.The festival was successfully concluded creating a mutual understanding and motivation among the participants.