Category: "Horticulture"

Ethiopia - Flower shipment scheme under consideration

April 6th, 2009

Ethiopia - Flower shipment scheme under consideration

Ethiopian welcomes scheme

By Elias Meseret

Capital

Attracted by the growing though recently troubled, horticulture sector in Ethiopia, Maersk, one of the top shipping lines in the world with over 325 offices in 125 countries, is to offer horticulture sea freight to Ethiopian exporters.
The company has planned to use a reefer container transport system; a scheme in which a refrigerated shipping container transports perishables, having its own stand-alone (self-powered) cooling system. This alternative is believed to relieve Ethiopia's horticulture and meat exporters from using the costly air freight.


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Ethiopia - Flower companies plea for help to cope with slowdown

March 30th, 2009

Ethiopia - Flower companies plea for help to cope with slowdown

By Elias Meseret

Capital

After seeing prices decrease on the world market in the past couple of months, Ethiopian flower growers and exporters are demanding cost adjustment and bank loan rescheduling to help them cope with the current economic slowdown.
Tsegaye Abebe, President of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA), said this needs to be done so as to deal with the 'elephant in the room' that is already affecting the sector globally.

"Due to the crisis, Ethiopian flower exporters are already feeling the pinch of very low market prices," he said as the third edition of 'Hortiflora Ethiopia' was officially opened last Wednesday at the Millennium Hall at an event attended by high government officials and the business community.

Tsegaye called on all airlines, seed breeders, fertilizer companies, agro-chemical firms, packing material businesses, and other input suppliers, transporters, auction and unpacking agents, and all those who are engaged in this sector and are dependent on its success, to reduce their costs dramatically in line with the current situation.
However, a senior official of Ethiopian told Capital after this appeal from flower exporters that the national carrier had already made price adjustments already and do not make any new adjustments in the near future.

Figures show that most airlines currently charge on average 1.85 dollars for a kilo of goods to be transported to different parts of the world. In line with this, cargo and passenger aircraft departing from Addis Ababa are currently transporting from 1,300 to 1,500 tonnes of flowers, fruits and vegetables per week.
"I would also like to call on banks that are working with the sector to reschedule all loans and cut down interest rates. We believe the sector is important for our economy and hence need the support of all of them," he reiterated in his opening speech, while it is to be recalled the National Bank of Ethiopia is introducing a credit contraction scheme with the commercial banks.

In an exclusive interview with Capital last week, Tsegaye had said that Ethiopian flowers have witnessed a 15 to 20 per cent price reduction in the past few months.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi confirmed the government's commitment for the sector's future growth and support to deal with the current problem in a sustainable manner: "The government is ready to support you through thick and thin. But all the sub- sectors involved in this sector should also work together to deal with the current problem," he said.

This year's exhibition, which is held every two years to facilitate business interaction for participants and promote Ethiopia, has attracted more than 130 companies from over 25 countries. Spanish and Dutch companies have been the leading exhibitors while newcomers, like Chinese greenhouse giant Kingpeng, also attended this year's event.
The Ethiopian Horticulture and Floriculture Industry is developing at a fast pace and it is expected to place itself on the world map within three to five years as one of the leading exporters of cut flowers.

According to the latest figures, the demand for greenhouses is now growing at about 50 hectares per month and this is accelerating the need for air freight capacity.
The Ethiopian government is also putting a lot of emphasis on the development of the sector and it is expected that cut flower production will mark its first completed 1,000 hectares by the end of this year.

"The Expo will not only serve as a platform for exhibiting suppliers who want to meet Ethiopian growers, but also for exhibiting Ethiopian growers who want to meet international flower buyers. For this reason, farm tours will be organized during the week of the exhibition," Tsegaye told Capital after making his opening speech last Wednesday.
Exhibiting companies are required to pay 200 Euros for registration, 270 Euro per square metre for the area and 370 Euros for floor space and stand construction.
In the first nine months of last year, 2.7 billion roses were imported to Holland from all over the world. This is a seven per cent increase compared to 2007. Most of the roses came from Africa, in particular from Ethiopia and Kenya.

However, in the period between 2006 and 2008, Holland had faced a 25 per cent decrease in rose growers, according to the publications of the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics.

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Ethiopia's struggling flower farms appeal for help

March 25th, 2009
Ethiopian flower farm

Ethiopia's struggling flower farms appeal for help

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters)
- Ethiopian flower-growers appealed on Wednesday for help from airlines, banks and suppliers to keep their industry going as some farms begin to close due to the global slump.

Addis Ababa is seeking to compete with neighbour and major flower exporter Kenya, and believes horticulture could eventually overtake coffee in earnings. In the 2007/2008 season Ethiopia earned more than $525 million from coffee, accounting for about 60 percent of its hard currency earnings.


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Flower giant shifts gear and rents aircraft from Ethiopian

March 16th, 2009
Ethiopian MD-11 Cargo Photo R. Bexten JetPhotos.Net

Flower giant shifts gear and rents aircraft from Ethiopian

By Elias Meseret

Capital

An umbrella flower company and another firm in Ethiopia have joined forces to rent cargo space on four aircraft from Ethiopian in order to export flowers to Europe.
Sher Ethiopia, which encompasses nine flower companies, and Trade Path International have established Flower Port Cargo Plc so as to rent three Boeing 747-200s and a half-load capacity of one MD-11 aircraft for one year.

Previously, they found themselves at loggerheads with other flower growers and the government, as they were planning to lease aircraft from outside the country. The protests were due to the foreign exchange drain the deal would cause the economy.
After all the difficulties, it started its operations to Liege, Belgium last Monday.
"The nine flower exporting companies operating under Sher Ethiopia were using a cargo service provided by Ethio Horti Share Company (EHSC). But now, owing to the ever growing number of exports they are making, and to fulfil the huge demand for cargo services within one umbrella organisation, Flower Port Cargo PLC was established," Nebiyu Woubishet, general manager of Flower Port Cargo Plc told Capital.



Read More from Capital

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Ethiopia - Ten flower farms receive warnings

March 8th, 2009
A woman harvests roses in a greenhouse at a flower farm in Ethiopia, February 12, 2008. REUTERS/Michael Tsegaye

Ethiopia - Ten flower farms receive warnings

By Asegid Assefa

The Reporter

The Holeta town administration Investment Bureau issued a warning this week to flower investors who have not paid land rent tax, Negussie Gebissa, the town’s manager of the Investment Bureau, told The Reporter. The tax rate is 0.16 birr per square meter.


According to Negussie, ten flower farms in Ethiopia around Holeta occupy an area of 503 hectares.

When the investors had said that the tax was too much for them, the Investment Bureau had lowered it to 0.16 birr per sq.m. However, even with such provision, the investors could not pay their dues promptly, Negussie said.

Among the investors that the Bureau frequently contacted by mail and in person to remind them to pay their taxes are Ethio-Agri Safety which belongs to Sheik Mohamed Husein Al-Amoudi, Rose Ethio, Holeta Rose, Fiori Ethiopia, Dire Highland A Flower, Garad Pvt Ltd, Top Flower and Metrolax.

“It’s surprising that the investors have failed to pay their tax at the rate of 0.16 birr a square meter,” Negussie said. He said that if the investors would not settle their debts following the warning issued to them, the Investment Bureau would be forced to take the case to court.

The daily laborers working on the flower farms have been striking repeatedly and Negussie said the reason was that they were underpaid and their payments were usually delayed.

A member of the Holeta administration’s cabinet said that it was unfair that farmers were evicted from their land only to be replaced by flower investors who fail to pay a 0.16-birr-per sq.m. tax.