With the Ethiopian Horticultural industry on the rise and becoming an important source of foreign exchange to the nation, the Ethiopian Horticultural Producer Exporters Association in collaboration with Addis Ababa University has held a timely research conference on agro-logistics inside the Intercontinental Hotel last weekend.
The level of agro-logistics in Ethiopia is characterized by inefficiency and inflated costs affecting the overall competitiveness of Ethiopian based agricultural exporters and producers.
Cognizant to the challenges, at the conference, a slew of agrologists presented their researches.
Credited for creating over 180,000 direct jobs to the Ethiopian economy, the sector has now become the fifth largest foreign revenue generator for the nation, according to Shiferaw Mitiku.
"This industry is important for Ethiopia and we want to see it nurtured and grow," Dagmawit Moges, the Minister of Transport, the keynote speaker at the gathering said, adding, "That is why the government has placed much emphasis on it and why it recognizes it as an important component of its economy."
Ethiopia has become a major exporter of fresh cut flowers in the region, worth USD 275 million, a far leap from where it was at a decade ago with USD 28.5 million. Much of the population is still significantly dependent on agriculture despite Ethiopia attempting to become a manufacturing hub and a middle incoming nation by 2025.
Ethiopia offers inclusive investment opportunities for international investors, including lands being provided for free for 30 years, ample electricity and ore-holes and paved roads for easy transport. There are now mega flower farms in many regions, including in Ziway, Koka, Bishoftu and Holeta.