Posted on :Thursday , 21st January 2021
The higher management of the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders recently held discussion on options of expanding the horticulture investment and the national project of boosting avocado production in areas with potential and suitable climate.
Ethiopia has a great opportunity for horticulture development due to the favorable climatic conditions, fertile soils, huge irrigation potential and affordable manpower.
The sector has attracted a significant amount of domestic and foreign investment. Ethiopia's horticulture products have had also a chance to penetrate into the international market in the past two decades.
One of the major focus areas of the recent discussion were ways of tapping the huge potential in the sector and the performance so far. It was also mentioned on the occasion that there are a number of natural and socio-economic enabling factors that can give the horticulture sector competitive advantages in the international market. Besides the abundant potential, the geographical proximity of the country to major international markets (such as the Middle East and Europe) put the country in an advantageous position.
The sector is one of the five largest contributors of export income in 2018/19 where it earned 315.14 million USD. In this regard, floriculture and the expanding vegetable, fruits, and herbs subsectors contributed 79 and 21 percent of the export revenue respectively. During that time, the horticulture sector has created some 200,000 jobs.
In addition, the fact that Ethiopian Airlines gives standardized cargo service is another factor that is attractive for investors to invest in the lucrative sector. Currently, the Ethiopian has over 57 cargo and 101 passenger destinations around the world.
The government also provides a number of incentives for investors in the sector including tax exemption and duty-free importation of machinery construction materials, spare parts, raw materials, and vehicles. The government has also facilitated loan access from the Development Bank of Ethiopia and access to land supply 30 for free whose lease extends up to 30 years.
State Minister of Horticulture Development Sector at the Ministry of Agriculture,Wondale Habtamu said the government has mainly focused on introducing end to end interventions in the horticulture value chain to address the critical bottlenecks of the sector.
Wondale added that the government has been working to promote the use of improved technologies to enhance the quality of products, increase food security, increase the income of smallholders and contribute to the national agriculture commodities export. In addition, the activity aims at improving the nutritional status of households and creating job opportunities at various levels.