The Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) announced that it has set a plan to garner $55 million from Valentine’s Day flower exports this year.
“We are planning to garner close to $55 million from flower export during this Valentine’s Day,” Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director of EHPEA, disclosed to Origins Media.
“Close to 3,000 tons of stems of flowers exported in two weeks,” says Tewodros.
In the two weeks’, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Services operated 86 flights mainly from Ethiopia, Kenya, Ecuador, Colombia, Miami (US) to Europe, transporting more than 110 million stems of flowers, a statement from Ethiopia Airlines reads.
Ethiopian has a lion’s share contribution to boost flower exports, he says, adding, “From these 86 flights by Ethiopian Airlines close to 41 cargo flights were to Brussels, Lehigh and Mastrix and South American nations.”
In two weeks, 32 flights were made from Nairobi to Brussels and Mastrix (US), 4 flights were from and 5 flights from Bogota to Miami and Lehigh (US), according to Tewodros.
The cargo service gives Ethiopia a comparative advantage. Not only the flowers but also the logistics has also been provided by Ethiopia.
Lack of cargo space is still a challenge in Columbia, Ecuador and Kenya due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “That’s on the other hand brought an opportunity for Ethiopia because we use Ethiopian Airlines cargo service that boosted our productivity both in price and amount,” he said.
Ethiopia’s horticultural industry is a resilient sector. It has been through tough times of eight weeks since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Compared to last year’s performance, the flower export registered 20% price increment mainly due to the adjustment in global flower price. Various opportunities are attributed to the increase in exports.
Europe’s higher cost of energy makes Ethiopia, a nation with lower energy consumption, more preferable for flower cultivation.
When it compared to the global level, especially from neighboring Kenya, the sector is performing much better, Tewodros said.
The increase in flower price is also attributed to the celebration of Mothers, Fathers, and Women’s Days than ever before.
The local flower market share is also increasing, says Tewodros.