Horticulture farms in Koka cluster teamed up to host an “Open Greenhouse Day” initiated and organized by Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) held on July 2nd, 2019. The event aimed to enhance the awareness of the surrounding community towards their perception of greenhouse operations.
Accommodating various stakeholders including local government representatives, community leaders, community youths and elders; the program opened by the blessing of the region's Abba Gadaa and prayers at Syngenta farm.
On the opening, Mr. Tewodros Zewdie, EHPEA Executive Director; stated that the Association organized this event taking into account that the achieved success of the horticulture sector is because of the hard work of the employees who came from the community mentioning that currently, the country is on the 5th level of flower export in the world. The horticulture sector created job opportunity for over 200,000 people and one of the top foreign currency earners in the country; he added.
East Shoa Zone Investment Officer Mr. Million Asfaw said on his speech; such events create a sense of belonging within the community and narrow the gaps of understanding. He conveyed his message to the community leaders that they have to work with the farms hand in hand to boost the Koka cluster investment. And lastly, he passes his appreciation to the event organizers that this kind of programs should be encouraged and adapted to other clusters as well.
Lastly, the visitors saw the standard and wetland construction for the waste water treatment of the farm's effluents, treatment and provision of refined potable water for the community and for its employees and the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technology especially their use of biological agents in a wide range.
After the visit, the participants reflected their feedbacks on how they are enlightened by what they observed in obtaining good agricultural practices. They also appreciated the practices that the farms are following especially on the better employee management, appropriate environment protection and regarding discharging and its responsibility towards the local community.
The Koka cluster farms are also known for their great corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works to the community; building elementary and high schools, yearly school material donation for the students, establishment of a support center for orphanages and vulnerable children, electric power supply installation, building residential houses for internally displaced people and providing safe drinking water.