As Ethiopia emerges as a noted exporter of fresh cut flowers to the world flower market, the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association is set to host its seventh edition of a HotrtiFlora Expo 2018 in the capital on March 14th for three consecutive days. This is to be a strategy to invite more foreign investors to the country as the booming flower industry that is emerging as a source of needed foreign currency to the Ethiopian market.
With ample land that is “suitable agro-ecological zones, proximity to Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia and trainable workforce with reasonable wages”, Ethiopia is beginning to be seen as a strategic location to grow flowers as most nations have began to curb or limit the use of their land for the use of flowers for a variety of reasons.
Earlier this month, the Ethiopian Horticulture and Agricultural Investment Authority announced that more flower investors from Holland are forthcoming and are to be given ample land and duty free privileges. Ethiopia has recently made available 6000 hectares of land for the use of horticulture in areas, including Bahir Dar, Alage, Arba Minch and Hawassa.
The expo is expected to attract buyers and investors from many parts of the world with consultations and meetings with stakeholders and actors in the industry.
“HortiFlora 2018 Expo believes to be instrumental to attract new investors to Ethiopia and promote members products to the world,” Tewodros Zewdie, the Executive Director of EHPEA said at a press conference at Hilton Addis on Wednesday. “There are over 120 local and international producers, input suppliers, consultants, buyers and other pertinent stakeholders registered and secured space.”
For Ethiopian Airlines, the growing flower industry has seen it build a new cargo terminal to meet demands, completing a new cargo terminal that is 150,000 m2, giving its total capacity of about 1m per annum with ample technology savvy warehouse, perishable cargo terminal that is seen as the largest in the continent.