Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Association Executive Director Tewodros Zewdie said that the association has been undertaking evidence-based policy advocacy interventions to create a better business environment for the sector operators.
In doing so, various amendments are undertaken towards revising policies, proclamations, directives, regulations among others, he remarked.
So far, the association managed to offer training exceeding 10,000 workforces of the industry on a wide spectrum of issues including compliance, crop specific topics, biological control of pest, integrated pest management, solid and liquid waste management aimed at elevating and building the capacity of the horticulture sector operators, Tewodros stated.
Mentioning the presence of potential partners globally, he said the association has been linking Ethiopian based growers with international buyers through business-to-business schemes thereby executing ranges of sales agreements with buyers in Europe, Middle East, Far East, North America and other destinations.
Furthermore, HortiFlora Expo, which brings wide segments of Horticulture supply chain actors under one roof, has brought lots of buyers from Europe, Middle East, Far East, US and Canada as well as African Countries. Besides, it has given additional impetus to members to broaden its market destination.
Having said the sector is the second largest in terms of boosting forex to the country and the opportunities in the global market, he added that the industry kept on bringing more than half a billion USD every year.
He stated that the cost of doing business in the horticulture sector is getting expensive in many countries, and hence it is becoming a windfall opportunity for Ethiopia to lure more investment.
He said: “Ethiopia is one of the top five producer and exporter countries in the cut flowers globally following Columbia, Ecuador, the Netherlands and Kenya, however a lot remains to be done in fruit and vegetable. Also, Rwanda and Uganda are also on the pipeline to create favorable conditions for investors.
“We have been engaging in various tasks such as carbon and water footprint reduction, expanding investment lands of the horticulture farms to create a better enabling environment for members in the sector,” he remarked.
He also called on the government and other stakeholders to ensure sustainable peace and put consolidated efforts to unleash the potential of the country to help attract more investors in the sector.
BY ASHENAFI ANIMUT
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD SUNDAY EDITION 15 OCTOBER 2023