Ethiopia launches a 10-year National Horticulture Development and Marketing strategy. The strategy is expected to address the gap in making the country a major horticulture exporter. SNV through the Horti-LIFE project provided technical and financial support for the realisation of the strategy.
Despite its potential for horticulture development, Ethiopia has not explored all potentials in the sector. According to the strategy in 2016, the country has earned 49 million USD producing 163,230 tonnes of horticulture products.
The National Horticulture Development and Marketing strategy is a key tool to create a favourable environment and transform the sector into one of the drivers of the economy. Horticulture not only has the potential to generate revenue for the country, it can also contribute to the national food and nutrition security. The country has planned to boost its horticulture production by the end of the 2019-2020 crop season, to 62.8 million tonnes from 4.1 million hectare of land. Gerrit Holtland, Horti-LIFE project Team leader, SNV Ethiopia, said, “Poor extension service provision, lack of improved technology and input supply, and access to finance has hampered the development of the horticulture subsector. The strategy will help to address production, export, pesticide utilisation and women participation.”
Dr. Eyasu Abreha, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, “the private sectors involvement in the sector has shown progress in and they have been playing a meaningful role in job creation, technology and knowledge transfer as well as foreign currency earning.”
The new strategy stresses the need to support horticultural smallholders in catching up with - and connecting to- the private sector. One of the main tools to achieve this, is to employ extension workers specialised in horticulture. The new strategy is very much in line with the SNV Horti-LIFE aim of integrating smallholders in high-value horticultural production, enabling smallholders to receive higher incomes, strengthening vocational- and graduate education programmes, reducing overall pesticide usage and residue levels, and creating an enabling environment for the sustained support to inclusive and sustainable development of the sector.