Sector Information

After the command economy is over in Ethiopia, the country entertained and introduced a mixed economy where private businesses flourished. Following the emergence and expansion of the private business, the dawn of horticulture farms also came to Ethiopia. Hence, privately owned horticulture farms started to emerge and most of the farms started producing vegetables and fruits for local and international markets.

Following the vegetables and fruit farms, other horticulture varieties came into existence soon. These included production of roses, herbs and cuttings. Particularly, the floriculture has shown a remarkable growth in the last ten years and provided many economic and job opportunities to the country. Currently, Ethiopia is the second largest flower producer in Africa next to Kenya.

This industry, although only a decade old, has shown significant progress in generating high foreign income and creating huge employment opportunity. Presently, horticulture is the fifth foreign revenue earner to Ethiopia next to coffee, pulses and oil seeds, gold and chat. With regard to foreign earning, the industry has generated, for example, 265.7 million USD in 2011/2012 fiscal year. This is exponential growth when we compare it to 28.5 million USD foreign earning in the year 2004/2005. From this revenue exchange, floriculture has contributed to 212.56 million, which is 80% of the total foreign revenue earning. The industry has also created over 180 thousand employment opportunity out of which 85% are women.

When we are talking about such a great leap forward, the horticulture is earning such high revenue in only limited and insignificant area of land, given the immense potential of Ethiopia. The total area of horticulture in Ethiopia is almost about 12,552 hectares of land from which floriculture, 80% foreign revenue earner of the sector, is practiced on only 1,442 hectares of land. This is only 11% of the developed horticulture land in the country.

As farms and started to increase in number, they wanted to have their own association that would help them to tackle problems they face individually. This initiated them to conceive and realize Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) in 2002. Initially, five farms came together and requested the Ethiopian Government to improve the infrastructure, facilitate loan and logistics services and put in place import export regulations. Currently, more and more growers are coming to join the industry and the association.

This association, representing the growers is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization with members that are legally registered and operating in the horticulture production and export business. Currently, members registered with EHPEA have reached to 96, with 75 active businesses that produce flowers, cuttings, ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables and herbs for export market. The association is also effectively representing and advocating the interests of its members both locally and internationally.

Market Destination

The major market destination for the Ethiopian horticulture produce is Europe particularly the Netherlands. However, there are over 100 international destinations for Ethiopian flowers, vegetables, herbs, cuttings and fruits. Currently, the market destinations are widening as more buyers are coming to Ethiopian producers since the quality and quantity of production is increasing from time to time. These include American, Russian and other Middle East markets.




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