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Better Christmas ahead for Ethiopian growers

Christmas is an important holiday for many rose growers and for Ethiopian growers, this year will be a better one compared to 2016. "Last year, we have had very cold temperatures - even some frosts - which affected the production and quality of the crop", says John Magara of Roshanara Roses, an Ethiopian rose farm. This year, Magara is satisfied with the temperatures and crop and therefore has high hopes for Christmas 2017. Next week, Roshanara Roses will start shipping out their roses for the Christmas season.

After 'green week'
"Last week and this week, it is the so-called 'green week' in Europe and people are then buying Christmas products like trees, poinsettias and so on. Like usual, the demand for cut roses is then very low during that time, but will increase a bit later. Next week, on Wednesday, we will start shipping out the Christmas flowers", says Magara.

Reds and whites
For Christmas the red and white cut roses are in high demand and at Roshanara, these are important colors too. Around 25 percent of their 15ha farm is planted with red varieties and around 20 percent with whites. Just like the demand, the prices for these colors will increase too. "The demand for these colors increase by around 35 to 40 percent and the prices by around the same percentage too."

Better weather
In contrast to last year, Magara is quite pleased with the weather this year. "Last year, we have had very cold temperatures, even some frosts. It damaged some crops and the quality of the product was less than usual", he says. "This year, however, the temperatures are still a bit lower than usual, but not as low that it is affecting the quality of the crop. Only the productivity of it decreases due to the lower temperatures, but that is usual."

Important holiday
Roshanara Roses grows roses in a 15ha rose farm in Holeta, Ethiopia. Christmas, together with Mother's Day and Valentine's Day are their most important seasons. They sell directly to the Europe market. Even though, they are not on the auction, but they always keep an eye on the clock as it also influences the demand for their flowers during these days.

For more information
Roshanara Roses
John Magara
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