A survey commissioned by Addis Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) has recommended boosting Ethiopia’s fruits export earnings through resolving the challenges in the sector.
Fruits production and processing sector has been challenged by various problems, which have lagged the sector’s performance behind its potential compared to other countries.
AACCSA has organized a meeting focused on “Fruit Production and Processing Opportunities and Challenges in Ethiopia”.
Fruits development is one of the sectors, which has been given a priority by the Ten–Years-Perspectives-Plan of Ethiopia. But, the reality on the ground is different, according to the survey.
Ethiopia has not been garnering insignificant foreign currency earnings from fruits, the survey indicated. Addis Chamber has made a policy discussion with stakeholders based on the findings of the study.
The diverse climate and topography make large swaths of Ethiopia ideal for cultivating fruits.
However, the presence of small-scale farming, fruits shorter shelf life, lack of infrastructure and failure to work in unison among regulatory agencies are the major challenges which lag the performance of the sector behind.
Tamirat Tadele, an Expert in the field of Fruits Production and Processing, has presented the survey to stakeholders including representatives of fruits producers and processors. Ethiopia has six corridors for fruits development; the Rift Valley Lakes of Abaya, Tana Basin, Benishangul-Gumuz, Jimma, Raya and Harergie rift valley.
The production from the rift valley lakes is estimated to be around 1 million tons of Avocado, Orange, Banana, Papaya and Strawberry in a year, according to Tamirat.
“Especially, Avocado’s annual production reaches 1 million quintal,” he said.
Djibouti purchases 90% of Ethiopia’s fruits. In the last two years Ethiopia has garnered $2 million Birr from fruits export.
“Ethiopia’s fruits export earning is insignificant compared to China and India, which are known for their production and processing of the products,” Tamirat said.
Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA’s) Executive Director Tewodros Zewdie said that his Association is working in capacitating his staffs to boost the productivity of the sector.
He recommends a provision of technical backing from universities located in close proximity to fruits farming.