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Tewodros Zewdie - Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporter’s Association

"Blueberries and avocados are up and coming products for export”

Ethiopia has a wide spectrum of climates to grow crops, from the highlands which cover most of the country and have a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator, to the lowlands which have a mild climate year-round. With temperatures fairly uniform year-round, the seasons in the foothills are largely defined by rainfall: a dry season from October to February, a light rainy season from March to May, and a heavy rainy season from June to September.

"Ethiopia has a good supply of labour at a reasonable cost. Although the country is land-locked, it can still export a variety of products through Ethiopian Airlines which owns the largest cold store in Africa," explains Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporter's Association. "We can also export through the Port of Djibouti, which is located at the crossroads of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf."

The main exports go to the European, Middle Eastern and African markets. "Ethiopia is known for its exports of strawberries, fresh beans, peppers and fresh herbs, but blueberries and avocados are also up-and-coming products for export."

Ethiopia grows strawberries year-round for local consumption and for export. The country exports strawberries to the Gulf area from April to November, to the UK between December and February and to South Africa from January to April.

A joint program by USAID, MASHAV of Israel and the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia introduced over 2,000 farmers with the Hass variety, imported from Israel. This program, which started in 2005 has been successful and had resulted in exports of avocados to the international markets.

In 2022 an irrigation program was on progress to develop blueberry production, the country has great connectivity via air to the major markets. Also in 2022 the first blueberries were exported from Ethiopia.

For more information:
Tewodros Zewdie
Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporter's Association
Email: [email protected]