A private company commanding the lion’s share of the market in the horticulture logistics sector is making headway to establish a cold storage facility in Modjo town, Oromia, with an investment capital of 350 million birr.
WoubGet Holdings, owned by Dawit Woubishet, an Ethiopian investor, has already secured a loan to finance the construction of the project. It has already made an official request for the region to lease land in the town.
The managers of the company see the growing demand for cold storage facilities among horticulture companies for the exports of flower and fruits as an opportunity to set up the facility.
The facility is expected to be set up at the most efficient route for transporting flowers and plants via train from Modjo to Djibouti along the Ethio-Djibouti corridor. About 25,000 square metres of land is needed to build the facility.
Dawit, director of WoubGet Holdings and chair of the Air Freight Institute (AFI), says that the company can set up the cold storage facility with all the necessary equipment in just three months after the regional state gives the company the permit to lease land.
Ethiopia has been exporting more fruits and vegetables in the last two years, and these items need cold-chain containers and places to store them. Fruits gathered from nearby cluster farms must be processed and packaged for shipment in a cold storage facility.
“I have explained it to the Minister of Agriculture during the HortiFlora Expo 2023 and expect a positive and quick response,” Dawit said.
The storage facilities have already started to get small vehicles and cold containers so that they can pick up flowers and plants from each cluster farm.
WoubGet is currently working with InspiraFarms, an Italian company that is known for providing cooling designs, development, financing, installation, and services for precooling and cold chain technology for fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, and animal protein supply chains in Africa and other emerging markets.
Dawit says that 30 percent of exportable fruits spoil every year in Ethiopia due to improper handling from the farm to the processing sites.
About 20 years ago, the flower industry in Ethiopia experienced a boom, and he claims his company was a part of that. He launched the company with the goal of improving logistics.
His business now covers 70 percent of all flower inland transportation within Ethiopia.
Over the past two decades, Ethiopia has developed into a leading producer of cut flowers thanks to the country’s flourishing horticulture and floriculture sectors. The sector brought in over USD 400 million in exports over the last seven months.