ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia, renowned as a major player in the horticulture industry, has successfully exported a staggering 4,500 tons of flowers using 50 freighters during the period from January 22 to February 14, 2024, reveals the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA).

These exports were strategically targeted for Valentine’s Day and reached key European locations such as Liege, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Germany, as well as markets in the UK, USA, Middle East, and the Far East.

Ranked among the top four flower-producing and exporting countries globally, Ethiopia’s horticulture sector continues to thrive despite economic challenges.

The country has earned over 169.5 million USD from flower, vegetable, and fruit exports in the first quarter of the current Ethiopian fiscal year. This achievement represents an impressive 63.1 percent of the set plan.

Mekonnen Solomon, the Horticulture Export Coordinator at the Ministry of Agriculture, provided insights into this remarkable performance, stating, “The sum was obtained from exporting 96,443.36 tons of flower, vegetable, and fruit in the reported period.”

Cut flowers, constituting the lion’s share of this success, generated over 146.26 USD in revenue by exporting 30,922.69 tons to the global market.

The vegetable sub-sector contributed significantly, grossing 17.2 million USD from the export of 58,340.40 tons. Additionally, the fruit sector secured around 6.12 million USD from exporting 14,823.99 tons during the reported period.

The Ministry of Agriculture has set an ambitious plan to generate 741.8 million USD from exporting 351,030,031.71 kg of flowers, vegetables, and fruits in the current fiscal year.

Mekonnen emphasized ongoing efforts to maintain export quality and packaging standards, ensuring Ethiopia’s competitiveness in the global market.

The Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA) plays a crucial role in bolstering the sector’s competitiveness.

Executive Director Tewodros Zewdie highlighted the association’s commitment to creating a favorable business environment for sector operators.

Zewdie stated, “The association has been undertaking evidence-based policy advocacy interventions to create a better business environment for the sector operators.”

Notably, the association has provided training to over 10,000 industry workers, covering various aspects such as compliance, crop-specific topics, biological pest control, integrated pest management, and waste management.

In efforts to strengthen global partnerships, Zewdie emphasized, “The association has been linking Ethiopian-based growers with international buyers through business-to-business schemes, executing ranges of sales agreements with buyers in Europe, Middle East, Far East, North America, and other destinations.”

Despite economic challenges and uncertainties, Ethiopia’s horticulture sector remains resilient, showcasing the potential for sustained growth and global competitiveness.

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