Giant US Food Company Eyes Invetment in Ethiopia’s Banana Industry
ADDIS ABABA, March 11 (NNN-ENA) — Fresh produce giant Chiquita Brands Inc of the United States has been looking at the possibility of investing in Ethiopia’s banana industry, with the country seen as a potential source for exports of the fruit to the Middle East market.
According to www.fruitnet.com., representatives from the group, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, have visited growers in Arbaminch, one of Ethiopiay’s main fresh fruit production areas.
Representatives of the multinational recently visited Arbaminch, about 500 km south of here.
Chiquita officials had held talks with farmers and officials from the Ethiopian Horticulture Agency, as well as growers around Arbaminch, about banana cultivation and export potential, it said.
Currently, Chiquita exports bananas from Latin America and West Africa to the Middle East, with Ethiopia an attractive option in terms of lowering costs. Ethiopia currently exports bananas to Djibouti, with the rest of the 200,000 ton per year crop heading for domestic consumption.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) says it is striving to get two specialty coffee varieties of the country to be registered as new coffee brands worldwide.
Its acting director, Abdurazaq Omar, told ENA on Wednesday that the EIPO had been promoting the “Limu” and “Nekempt” specialty coffee varieties and striving to get these coffees registered as new coffee trade marks.
Speaking at a consultative meeting among pertinent bodies on Ethiopian specialty coffee species, he said agreements had already been signed among 109 coffee roasting and coffee distributing companies worldwide to enable the companies use the trade marks of these two specialty coffees.
Abdurazaq said the number of branded specialty coffee varieties of the country had reached five so far namely the Harar, Yiirgachefe, Sidama, Limu, and Nekempt coffee brands.
The branding of the Ethiopian specialty coffee varieties is expected to be completed within two years, he added. — NNN-ENA