William Sonneveld, FV SeleQt: “Situation extremely troubling”

Another Dutch cultivation project attacked in Ethiopia

Tensions in Ethiopia between the government and population groups are mounting. Locals are protesting against support, granted to foreign investors, by the government. In September, various flower nurseries were attacked and burnt, last Wednesday juice factory, Africa Juice, was attacked, and yesterday an Ethiopian cultivation project, and partner of FV SeleQt, was attacked.

The project is for the benefit of both the local population and government and the local economy. The nursery cultivates 300 hectares of vegetables, which the Oromia National Regional State has made available. The Dutch company FV SeleQt, a joint-venture between Flamingo Horticulture and the Best Fresh Group, is involved with sales of vegetables including haricots verts, legumes, sugar snap peas and peppers.

William Sonneveld gives this shocked response, on behalf of FV SeleQt. “We were hoping this trouble would pass us by, but it was our cultivation project’s turn yesterday. On Monday, at the request of the embassy, the Dutch management urgently departed from the farm to Addis Ababa, the capital, where it is safe. The locals entered the farm, and chased away the farm’s employees. It appears as if the warehouse has been plundered, and multiple fires are raging at the farm. Damages will be significantly high, but we do not yet have a clear view of the damages, because it is still too dangerous to return to the farm. The situation is extremely troubling, the next 48 hours will be crucial,” according to Sonneveld.

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