The Ethiopian horticulture sector shows a tremendous rise with in short period of time, contributing to more than 10% of the national foreign currency earning and created over 200,000 jobs, out of which 85% are women.
In order to further the sector achievement the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) in partnership with Addis Ababa University College of Business and Economics School of Commerce has organized a Research Conference on Agro-Logistics in Ethiopia.
Currently, agriculture accounts for 60% of all export and for more than 80% of total employment in Ethiopia. Efficient and smart agro-logistics is a key enabler for the success of agricultural supply chains especially for perishable sectors. It also plays quite a vital role for the competitiveness of agricultural sectors locally and internationally by ensuring quality, delivery reliability and punctuality.
On the conference Mr. Tewodros Zewdie, Executive director of EHPEA stated on his speech that despite the competitive and comparative advantage for production and export of fruit and vegetables, the high costs of logistics particularly the costs of reefer containers hamper Ethiopia’s untapped potential to benefit from the main consumer markets. As there is no enough reefer container in the country farms are expected to pay for the empty container movement from Djibouti to their farm gat and from their farm gat to Djibouti. This calls for crafting sustainable solution so as to unlock the massive opportunities for the production and export of fruit and vegetables.
He also added urging the government to take proactive measures on creating better doing business climate for all the actors of agro-logistics including incentives for those who wants to invest on the sector , investing on necessary systems and infrastructures of agro-logistics, to help in slashing the inflated costs of reefer containers by taking out the empty leg of reefer container movement from Djibouti, availing finance for the private sector operators so that they build their capacity in specialized logistics services and anchoring productive platforms for proactive and structured engagement of the private sector, academic and research institutions and the government at large.
Transport Minister Mrs. Dagmawit Moges, on her keynote speech said “Taking into account that the horticulture sector is one of the anticipated development of Ethiopia, it attracts the government due emphasis. To address the challenges of logistics; the council of Minsters ratified the national logistics strategy that has been prepared by Ministry of Transport. In addition to this logistic sector have been open to both foreign and domestic investors so as to create enabling environment, effectiveness and efficiency in the sector. To further boost up the horticulture sector and other semi-processing food manufacturers; the cool chain feasibility study has been ongoing which is believed to transform the perishable logistics chain of transport.”
On the conference, policy makers, high ranking government officials, logistic service providers, academicians, cargo owners, forwarders, financial institutions, and other pertinent stakeholders attended and discussed on the research paper presented.