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Frans Diedens, Yalkoneh Flowers
Ethiopia: Early frosts affect hypericum production
Frans Diendens of Yalkoneh Flowers and Tadishi Sasaki of Japan External Trade Organization at the IFEX 2015.
Usually, frosts hit Ethiopia between the end of December and February. Then, flower growers like Diedens water their crop to protect them against the frost. This year, however, the frosts started very early and were quite unexpected. "In October and November, we have had some frosts. And as it was unexpected, we could not take precautionary measures. Therefore, our crop was damaged and we lost about 50 percent of our volumes."
As more growers had to deal with frost damages, the volumes on the market were lower than usual. This, resulted in higher prices, which made the impact less severe. "But as a grower, it is too bad to see your crop being destroyed by the weather, even if the prices are high."
Currently, the weather changed and improved. "It is more cloudy which means no frosts. Therefore, we can increase our production again. At the moment, we are back on 75 percent of our production volume and when heading to Valentine's Day, which is another important day for hypericum growers too, we expect to be back on 100 percent of our production."
Yalkoneh Flowers grows the Hypericum Magical Series of Dutch breeder Kolster on a 17 ha sized land, at an altitude of 2,100 meters in Ethiopia. His assortment consists of seven colors and he exports them to the Netherlands and Japan. In Japan, the mixed arrangements are the most popular and their aim is to export 50% of their volume to Japan in the future.
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