Phone: +31 318 67 27 00

Ethiopia: Exporting fruit and vegetables

General information
Project location: Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Horticultural Development Agency (EHDA) and the Ethiopian Horticultural Producers and Exporters Association (EHPEA) commissioned a study to a consultancy team led by Advance Consulting. The international market opportunities, agronomic possibilities, and economic, institutional and operational aspects of the export-oriented supply chains in the horticultural sector were assessed.

Conditions in Ethiopia make it possible to cultivate virtually all tropical, sub-tropical and temperate horticultural crops. For commercial export growers there are opportunities to cultivate and export fresh produce to the Middle East and the EU-markets. Examples of products with export potential include mangetout, sweet peas, melons, chillies, ginger, avocadoes, pomegranate and passion fruit. For small scale growers there is a good potential to increase the exports of fresh fruits and vegetables to the neighbouring countries such as Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. In these countries there is a sustained demand for products such as chillies, onions, cabbages, bananas, mangoes, etc. So far little of this potential has been realised, but the Ethiopian authorities and a growing number of private investors are showing an interest to develop the fruit and vegetable export sector.

Critical factors that need addressing for the realisation of these export opportunities are the reduction of transport costs and the development of a reliable cool chain. Currently the exports of high value fruits and vegetables to the Middle East and the EU markets are too reliant on air freight. Compared to other major exporting countries in Latin America, North Africa and Asia, the competitiveness of the export sector will be limited if sea freighting does not become a feasible option. A second priority for exports of high value fresh produce is the introduction and adherence to high product quality standards. For Ethiopia to succeed as an exporting country in the fresh produce sector it will have to build up a good name and reputation. Current exporters of fruits and vegetables to Europe or the Middle East use foreign company and brand names to gain market access.

If you are interested to receive a copy of the document, as published by EHDA and EHPEA in March 2011, please contact Bertine Niesten at

Projects by country Projects by sector