New York, New York, USA
July 3, 2012
Within the span of less than a decade, Ethiopia emerged as a global player in the cut flowers business ranking second in Africa. With a good mix of incentives and active facilitation, the Government of Ethiopia took a non-existing flower sector and developed it into a USD $200 million export sector with more than 85,000 jobs created. This was possible because Ethiopia enjoys an inherent comparative and competitive advantage in the production and delivery of flowers. While Ethiopia's agro-climatic and altitude variety give it vast advantages in growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, its location affords it fast and cheaper transport and delivery potential. The country is now determined to repeat the flower miracle, this time to develop a robust export oriented fruits and vegetables sector.
"The potential this country has in fruits and vegetables is even more awesome," said Ato Hailesilassie Tekie, Director General of the Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency. "While there are plenty of opportunities for commercial farmers, there also exists significant opportunities in harnessing smaller holder farmers into outgrower schemes. The opportunities are endless. As the sector is very high on the priority of the Government of Ethiopia, we are preparing suitable land for investors, creating a better business operating environment, as well as facilitating adequate cold chain and logistics investments to ensure produce reaches regional and global markets in an efficient manner," he added.
Indeed, Ethiopia's agro-climatic conditions are such that you can grow just about any type of fruits and vegetables. Further, given low labor costs, extensive Government support, existence of input suppliers (already developed for the floriculture industry), and proximity to all the major markets, Ethiopia can be much more competitive than the continent's heavily weights in the sector, Kenya and South Africa. "Due to these factors, the fruits and vegetables sector of Ethiopia offers an enticing opportunity for investors searching for opportunities," said Henok Assefa, managing partner at Precise Consult International, an investment advisory firm based in Addis Ababa and New York City. "We find the opportunity so compelling that with adequate investment in cold transport infrastructure, Ethiopia will emerge as a leading exporter of fresh produce in Africa."
The Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands played a significant role in supporting Ethiopia's Floriculture miracle. It is now convinced that with the right mix of incentives, policies and facilitation, Ethiopia stands to benefit from opportunities in the global market. "We already have buyers from Europe who would like to source Ethiopian fruits and vegetables," said Geert Westenbrink, Agriculture advisor at the Embassy. "There is great scope for expanding the capacity to produce and thus a plethora of investment opportunities in Ethiopia," he added.
The Ethiopia Fruits and Vegetables Investment Summit is organized with the aim to clearly showcase investment opportunities in the sector for investors. The conference will be conducted in two sessions. Opened by H.E. AtoTefera Deribew, Minister of Agriculture, the morning session will hear from leading European and Middle Eastern buyers, senior officials of the Government of Ethiopia, and investors currently operating in the sector with plenty of opportunities for discussion. The afternoon session will showcase a horticulture marketplace, a platform to share information and network for all service providers operating in the entire supply chain of growing and exporting horticulture products.
The Ethiopia Fruits and Vegetables Investment Summit, which will be held on July 19th at the Addis Ababa Hilton will gather all players and stakeholders in this emerging business of Ethiopia and showcase the opportunities abound.
Further information on the Ethiopia Fruits and Vegetables Investment Summit 2012 can be found at www.ethiopiainvestmentsummit.com.
About the organizers:
Ethiopia Horticulture Development Agency (EHDA) is a Federal government Institution in charge of facilitating three pillars of development support including, capacity building, market promotion/ diversification and Investment in view of strengthening the capability of the private sector so that overall competitiveness of the Horticulture sector would be a reality.
Ethiopia Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA)
The Ethiopian Horticulture Producer and Exporters Association (EHPEA) was established in September 2002 to represent the interests of its members and promote the expansion of the emerging horticulture export sector in Ethiopia. EHPEA is a non profit making and non governmental organization whose members are all registered businesses engaged in the production of floriculture, cutting, propagation, ornamental plants, fruit, vegetable, and herb for the export market.
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN)
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, within the framework of the Ethiopia Netherlands Horticulture Partnership supports the development of the fruits and vegetables sector in Ethiopia.
Precise Consult International PLC (PCI) is a premiere management consulting firm specializing in the provision of investment and finance advisory services to corporations and private sector development and economic analysis to international development agencies and governments. PCI is headquartered in Addis Ababa Ethiopia and has an office in New York City in the U.S.