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Shaping the future of high value horticulture in Ethiopia

With an ever-increasing demand for cutting edge innovative technologies in horticultural crops production in Ethiopia, Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) and Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute (EBTI) are jointly moving ahead to establish a win-win partnership. With a projection of this grand idea in mind, EHPEA has organized a one-day field visit for the EBTI scientists on August 13, 2019.

The field visit was made to three selected farms at Koka cluster. The farms were Florensis Abyssinia, Ethio-cuttings (or Syngenta) and Red Fox PLCs. Other Key stakeholders in attendance were the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment-Forest-Climate Change Commission, Arsi University and Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research. The aim of the visit was to impart the scientists with first hand authentic and multi-dimensional challenges of the sector with an emphasis in the area of pests and solid waste management for sustainability.

During the visit, a fruitful discussion was made among the participants and all the three farms farm managers’ have pointed out that their door is wide open for any scientist who is interested to address the multi-pronged challenges of the sector adding value to their produces. Challenges need to be addressed to enhance the productivity and quality of the produce by mandated institutions like EBTI and EIAR. Thus the move to enter into formal agreement between EHPEA and EBTI is very much welcomed by EHPEA member farms.

EBTI in their part appreciated the initiation by EHPEA and mentioned that at EBTI there exists a vested interest to research high value horticultural crops and the opportunity shall be grabbed by each and every scientist of the institute in the area of their respective specialization. Dr Lemma of the institute, stated that the institute is working on the development of Memorandum of Agreement which will soon be discussed between the two organizations and ratified by both with consensus. Then after EHPEA and EBTI will enter into agreement formally to collaborate in an innovative endeavour that will benefit both the institutes and the country at large.

This collaboration will enable to strengthen the capacity of the institute to innovate technologies enabling farms to cope up with the ever-changing climate and productivity impacting factors like pests. This will enable the country to harness the huge potential of the horticulture sector. Thus, considering the limitless future of horticulture in the country, envisioning the necessity of win-win partnership and the dire demand of technologies in the sector; EHPEA believes that the would-be collaboration will yield exemplary model results in the near future. The ultimate essence of the collaboration is to support the vision of the member farms and actively engage in the role that their vision truly happens.

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