Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency (EHDA) has announced the use of locally produced standard packaging boxes for flower export. The use of locally made packaging boxes is effective as of this week.
Agency Director General Haileselassie Tekie said standardization will enable the country to enhance its foreign currency earnings from the horticulture sector through minimizing the damage of flowers due to transportation.
The Director General further stated that the standard packaging will help build the good image of the country in the horticulture sector. About 30 per cent of the country’s export flower was exposed to avoidable damages during export, according to the Director General.
In some occasions, Ethiopian flowers were sold as if they were the products of other countries, he said, adding that branding of the sector will have a significant importance in avoiding such problems. Ethiopian Pulp and Paper Plc, Burayou Packaging and Printing Industry, Minaye Packaging Plc, and Unlimited Packaging Plc are accredited to produce the packaging boxes.
The four companies which have already started to manufacture the standard boxes are permitted to import raw materials free of tax. The companies are expected to manufacture 300,000 standard boxes per week.
Ethiopia is the second flower exporter in Africa next to Kenya. Over the last 10 months of the current Ethiopian budget year alone, the country has secured more than 200 million USD from the export of horticulture products. Over 160 million USD of which was secured from the export of 1.7 billion flower stems. The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, Italy, France and Lebanon were the first top ten recipients of Ethiopian flowers.