Ethiopia Begins Banana Export

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By Mekonnen Hailu

Ethiopia for the first time begins exporting organic banana shipping 40 tons to Saudi Arabia. Agreement has been made with a foreign company and preparations are underway to export 200 tons of organic bananas to Jidda market on weekly basis.

Export standard organic bananas have been produced in ArbaMinch-zuria and Mirab Abaya woredas (districts) of the zone in the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) states in the area of more than 3,100 hectares. Currently, over 11,400 farmers have engaged in cultivation of the organic bananas.

The Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency (EHDA) is working in collaboration with the regional government and other concerned bodies for the successful achievement of the project, according to the information newbusinessethiopia.com received from the agency established by the government a few years ago.

“In this regard, EHDA has imported two different high-yield and improved varieties from South Africa namely Grand Name and William and distributed among private investors and the small farmers engaged in the sector so as to meet the standard of the organic bananas in the international market,” the statement noted.

Totally, over 4,400 improved seedlings of the two varieties were distributed in the two localities. Besides, market promotion activities have been made by the Agency so as to diversify the volume of organic banana export to Europe and other Middle East countries.

The newly started export of organic bananas is expected to have a great economic advantage for the nation increasing the volume of fruits that the country exports to different countries and generates more foreign currency. In addition, it will also create employment to a number of compatriots and also improving household security of small farmers, among others.

At present, organic banana has a very high demand in Europe and Middle East countries which are geographically close to Ethiopia. “EHDA is exerting utmost effort with a view to enhancing the quality of organic bananas cultivated in the country and attracts many more customers from different parts of the world,” the agency said.

Last Ethiopian budget year, the country generated 250 million USD form the export of flower, fruit, vegetable and herbs. Of the total export, 40 million USD was obtained from the export of 93 thousand tons of fruits and vegetables. This is, in fact, a huge amount of foreign currency that the country ever secured from the sector.

Since the government is committed to develop the horticulture industry, various incentives and necessary supports have been provided to local and foreign investors engage in the sector. As a result, every year remarkable growths have been registered in the sector.

In the current budget year, the country secured 112 million USD with in only a period of six months and the secured amount has exceeded by 25 million USD compared to the same period last year. (Sorce: http://newbusinessethiopia.com)

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