Another flower farm up for auction in Ethiopia

November 29, 2008

The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) has put the second flower farm up for auction in a span of a month’s time. Lucy Ethiopia Floriculture Plc has been tabled for auction after it defaulted on it its loan from the bank.

According to the notice posted on the state-owned Amharic daily, Addis Zemen, the farm has been tagged with a floor price of over 7.9 million birr.

Located in Dendi Woreda of the Oromia Regional State, the farm occupies 35.74 hectares leased from farmers.
Last month DBE put another farm, RSL Flower and Vegetable Plc, and its buildings up for auction after it similarly defaulted on its bank loan. RSL is also located in the Oromia Regional State, Ada’a Wereda, lying on 20 hectares.
RSL Vegetable and Floriculture Plc recently introduced a bio-control pesticide for flower farms.

Ethiopia has identified 400,000 hectares of land as being suitable for the development of fruits and vegetables and over 200 companies have now invested in the sector, predominately in the Rift Valley region.

From the 1.5 billion dollars Ethiopia generated from exports in the 2007/08 budget year, fruits and vegetables fetched 121 million dollars.
However, the industry has been under close scrutiny from trade unions and environmentalists for its use of agro-chemicals that they consider hazardous.
Until December 2007, the amount of land available for flower cultivation was 3,255 hectares, of which 974 hectares was covered with greenhouses. By 2009, the government expects 1,239 hectares of land to be dedicated to Ethiopia’s fastest growing crop