ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia has inked a significant EUR 10.6 million (U.S$ 11.5M)  grant agreement with the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the first phase of the Cool Port Addis project.

This collaboration is poised to address bottlenecks hindering Ethiopia’s horticultural potential.

The grant will bolster the Cool Port Addis initiative within Modjo Green Logistics, serving as a comprehensive solution to enhance logistical processes across the avocado value chain and other fruits and vegetables.

The project seeks to transition from conventional truck and aircraft transport to more eco-friendly modes like rail and shipping, promoting a greener supply chain.

The inaugural phase of the project requires an investment of U.S$27.5 million, with Invest International and the Ethiopian government contributing significantly. Dutch companies specializing in refrigerated logistics and horticulture are poised to play a pivotal role in the project’s success, given its innovative and sustainable approach.

The Netherlands, a vital economic partner, stands among Ethiopia’s top ten contributors to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and serves as a key export destination for Ethiopian products.

MoF State Minister H.E. Semereta Sewasew and H.E. Henk Jan Bakker, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ethiopia, formalized the grant arrangement in the presence of H.E. Dr. Alemu Sime, Minister of Transport and Logistics, along with various stakeholders from both nations.

The Cool Port Addis Project I aligns with Ethiopia’s strategic vision to unlock the full potential of its horticultural sector.

The grant is a testament to the longstanding partnership between Ethiopia and the Netherlands, aiming to create sustainable solutions that benefit both nations.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s horticultural exports have seen exponential growth reporting a noteworthy achievement in the sector.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, exports of flowers, vegetables, and fruits yielded over USD 169.5 million, achieving 63.1 percent of the set target, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Horticulture Export Coordinator Mekonnen Solomon highlighted that the impressive sum was derived from exporting 96,443.36 tons of flowers, vegetables, and fruits during the reported period.

The vegetable sub-sector raked in USD 17.2 million from exporting 58,340.40 tons, while the fruit sub-sector secured approximately USD 6.12 million from 14,823.99 tons of exports.

The ministry’s ambitious plan for the fiscal year targets generating USD 741.8 million from exporting 351,030,031.71 kg of flowers, vegetables, and fruits.

Mekonnen emphasized ongoing collaborative efforts to maintain the desired quality and attractive packaging, ensuring Ethiopia’s competitiveness in the global market.

The Ethiopian government’s commitment to promoting the horticulture sector includes strategic measures such as attracting private investments, providing export incentives, customs duty exemptions, income tax holidays, and offering land at competitive lease prices.

These initiatives underscore the nation’s dedication to fostering sustainable growth and global competitiveness in the horticultural domain.

The project not only facilitates international trade and market access for Ethiopian farmers but also fosters economic growth and job creation. Through efficient cooling facilities, product losses are minimized, enhancing the quality and export value of agricultural produce.

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