Category: "Horticulture"

Ethiopia Flower firms flailed for forex failings

June 29th, 2009

Ethiopia Flower firms flailed for forex failings


By Elias Meseret

More than 38 flower exporters were put on a ‘delinquent list’ for a week by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) after failing to submit foreign exchange earned from their exports.
Sources told Capital that the companies managed to resolve the issue with the NBE officials Friday morning, though a detail of the resolution was not available as Capital went to print.
All the listed flower exporters were prohibited from exporting flower for a week.
According to the law, exporters are obliged to submit their foreign exchange export earnings to banks in Ethiopia within one month. If this does not happen, NBE will send an instruction for all banks and customs officers not to allow the exporters to proceed with further exporting.
Tsegaye Abebe, President of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA), says the problem is not uncommon and is mainly caused by misunderstandings on both sides.
“What we normally do when things like this happens is set up a reconciliation process to settle all the disputes in a prompt manner,” he noted. “However, it is common for discrepancies to happen between the amount of exports and receipts gained due to the daily changes in the price of flowers.”


Read More from Capital

Ethiopia - Belgian airport shows set up to flower firms

June 8th, 2009
Sandro Mederle - JetlinerImages

Ethiopia - Belgian airport shows set up to flower firms

By Elias Meseret

Liege Airport, one of the rapidly growing, low cost cargo destinations in Europe, demonstrated its facilities to Ethiopian flower exporters last week at a workshop hosted by Ethiopian Airlines and the Airport at the Hilton Addis.

The workshop brought together flower exporters, growers, producers, logistic service providers and other stakeholders involved with Ethiopian flower exports.
"The workshop was aimed at providing information and facilitates seamless service at Liege Airport for customers of the Ethiopian flower industry. Ethiopian flower exporters were excited by the workshop and some of them even told us that they didn't know the existence of such facility in Liege Airport before," G/Michael Biwota, Director of Ethiopian Cargo, told Capital.

Currently, Ethiopian flies to Liege six to seven times a week using the recently leased MD-11 aircraft (three times per week) and B747 aircraft (three to four times a week). The national carrier also flies to the capital Brussels daily, though for passengers only.


Read More from Capital

Got Mother's Day flowers? Ethiopia does, but few are buying

May 11th, 2009

Got Mother's Day flowers? Ethiopia does, but few are buying


Sabeta, Ethiopia -
A local pop song trills out from the radio, filling the cavernous packing hall at the Ethio Highland Flora farm in Sabeta, a 45-minute drive from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

Dozens of workers tackle a seemingly endless stack of exotically named roses, separating the short stems and rotten petals from the bright Valentino, Duo Unique, Wild Calypso, and Alyssa blooms destined for Europe.

Most of the farm's 400 employees earn less than a dollar a day, but it is a steady wage in one of the world's poorest nations where 80 percent of the population lives off the land.


Read More from Christian Science Monitor

Ethiopia seeks new flower markets

April 11th, 2009


Ethiopia seeks new flower markets

(nazret.com) - Ethiopia has become a major flower exporting country in a relatively short time thanks to attractive investment conditions set up by the government, but the recession in Europe is starting to bite. Freshinfo.com is reporting that Ethiopia is now looking to new markets to export cut flowers. The country is currently exporting 50% of its cut flower to The Netherlands and seeks to export to new markets like Dubai, Russia and USA.

In 2009, Ethiopia is set to earn $280 million according to Freshinfo.com. Last year Ethiopia earned $178 million from flower exports.

Ethiopia - Flower Price falls 40% as the world economy continues nose diving

April 6th, 2009

Flower Price falls 40% as the world economy continues nose diving

By Elias Meseret

Capital

It was recently reported that the flower sector in Ethiopia was witnessing a 15 to 20 percent price reduction on the international market. Now, owing to the ever increasing effect the global economic crisis is having in the 'flamboyant' export sector of the country, the price has dropped 40 percent.
"The decline is going at a very dramatic pace. We are trying to cope with the problem in every way we can but we don't know what will come out of it in the future," Tsegaye Abebe, President of the Ethiopian Flower Producers and Exporters Association (EFPEA) told Capital.
Tsegaye, however, downplayed some reports that the industry is currently in total loss. He said that while there are times when it is difficult to cover all expenses due to the international price fall and the seasonal nature of the product, such as peak production times, it is not a picture that represents the industry's everyday performance and also the current position of all flower growers and exporters in the country.
In the global flower market, Ethiopian flower exports have increased five-fold between 2006 and 2008. However, due to the current set back the industry is witnessing, it is hard to abide by previous forcasts that flower exports will catch up with coffee exports in five years period.
According to Tsegaye, flowers being a luxury product and hence a vulnerable commodity in times of recession, there is a significant impact of the credit crunch on the horticultural sector.
One of the compannies affected by the price decline disclosed to Capital that the company has responded to the price decline by reducing the amount of exports it used to have, concentrating in high price fetching flower types and forfeiting the expansion plan it had for this year.
"We used to export from 300 to 400 boxes of flowers daily before the problem began to be felt. But now we have reduced it to 100 boxes every two to three days," the company explained. It also added that they are looking for other markets in the Middle East and other closer areas so as to mitigate the air freight expense.
While flower exporters have already sought the support of the government to deal with the problem, State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD), Abera Deressa, told Capital that the exporters themselves should also work on the low productivity of the sector.
"Most flower exporters are not in par with the global standard of high productivity in a given area of land. Besides, their packaging, processing and other value chain processes need to be enhanced so as to benefit more from the international market," Abera said. "Our experts trained abroad have begun preparations to disseminate best practices. We are now studying each flower exporting company's working procedure and will soon begin providing our expertise."
Reflecting Tsegaye's tone, Flora Holland Financial Director Erik Leeuwaarden advises the business community in the sector not to panic. "Though a lot of growers and other stakeholders are facing difficult times, there is no reason to panic. A too negative approach, like speaking in terms of disaster, would be exaggerated because people are still buying flowers though at a reduced level," he says.
This problem is not unique to Ethiopia, though. It has also been reported in Uganda where the flower industry is facing problems because of some European buyers going bankrupt. Juliet Mosoke, Executive Director of the Ugandan Flower Exporters Association, (UFEA) states in one of the country's local newspaper, "Some of our buyers have closed down due to insolvency while others have not expressed interest in signing up new contracts. The prices have also dropped to very low levels that some growers find it unnecessary to ship because the prices offered do not even cover freight charges."
Companies currently feeling the pinch are now covering some of their costs from other business operations.