Ethiopian flower growers expect to earn $ 280 million in 2009

March 30, 2009

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (APA) – Ethiopia flower exports are expected to earn $280 million in 2009, though current global financial crisis is expected to have some impact on the exports.

Tsegaye Abebe, head of the Ethiopian Horticulture Development Association, told journalists on Tuesday that the country it is seeking new buyers for its fresh flowers because the global economic downturn is cutting sales in its main market, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands imports over 50% of Ethiopia’s flower exports and the country is seeking new flower market in Dubai, Asia, Scandinavia, Russia and the USA, fearing the recession in Europe will affect its flower exports.

Flower exports are becoming the main foreign earner in Ethiopia after coffee and it is expected that flower exports will overtake coffee and be worth $1 billion annually within five years.

Ethiopia earned $178 million last year from the sale of some 1.5 billion stems and employs over 100,000 people, mostly women, on its flower farms