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Cut Flower Production

  1. Product Description: The wide range of agro ecological conditions of the Amhara region is suitable for floriculture production. High quality, long stem, and big budded rose flowers can be grown in the high land of Misrak Gojam, Awi, and Semen Gonder zones. Small budded and short stem rose flowers can also be grown in the lowland areas of Mirab Gojam zone (Bahir Dar Zuria and Merawi areas). In these category of cut rose flowers, there are several varieties of flowers with distinct shapes of petals, colors and known by different commercial names e.g. Aroma, Havanna, Dream, Kings Pride, Fidibus, etc. These flowers fetch better prices in the world markets than any other cut flowers.


  1. Rationale: Ethiopia is considered as one of the potential countries in the world for flower production. The country has a wide range of agro-ecological condition that is conducive for varieties of flower growing. The highlands are suitable for long stem and big bud rose flowers and the lowlands are also suitable for short stems and small bud rose flowers. In additions to this because of the proximity of the country to Europe, the Amhara region has a comparative advantage in freight cost over other producing countries of the African continent. There are three major export market options for the Ethiopian cut rose flowers; i.e., Europe, North America and Japan. The biggest flower importing countries are Germany, the Netherlands, France, UK, USA, and Japan. Market for rose flowers is growing due to the quality demanded and the new market development of Eastern Europe. That is why, recently, floriculture has become one of the fastest growing export industries in Africa. For example Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa are significant floriculture producers for export. Recently, Ethiopia is coming in to picture in the floriculture. In less than half a decade about 18 companies have been established and engaged in this business; but limited only to Oromia Region having similar agro-ecological conditions of that of Oromia, the Amhara region has to encourage investors to take part on the floriculture industry. As investment in the floriculture expands, the industry will generate substantial income to all stakeholders and provide employment opportunity to many job seekers of the region. 


  1. Market Potential: Because of location proximity and seasonal variation of production season, European countries re the major consumers and producers of floriculture products in the world. But their consumption is much higher that their production; the gap is filled with imports from developing countries (mostly form tropical regions). Plus their production is declining due to decrease in acreage. In addition to this, European countries could not produce flowers during October-February, but have critical demand for important occasions besides to the regular requirements. Hence, the Amhara Regional State, being in a tropical country, can take part in filling the huge demand gap of European countries.


  1. Sources of the Raw Material: For floriculture production, root stocks are the basic inputs both at initial establishment stage and for periodic replacement. Netherlands, Israel and Kenya are major sources of this basic input; hence root stocks can be imported from these countries depending on costs of purchase and the specific varietals requirement.


  1. Production Process Technology: Root stocks of selected varieties will be planted on raised seed beds in rows at a specified spacing between plants and rows under green house conditions. Rose flower production without green house is inconceivable. From planting date to harvesting time the plant will be supplied with water and fertilizer through drip irrigation system. Depending on the varieties and environmental conditions the flower stem will be ready for harvest in 90-120 days.


Cut flowers stems will be collected in buckets, transported to packing houses with out exposing them to direct sunlight. In the packing house cut flower stems will be packed in batch of 20 stems and 18 batches will be again packed in carton boxes which contain 360 stems each. These carton boxes will be stored in cold rooms until shipment.


  1. Investment Cost Estimate: On the basis of the current experience of floriculture industry in Ethiopia initial investment requirement for highland rose flower production is estimated at Birr 5.0 million per hectare and for low land rose flower production at Birr 3.5 million per hectares. These costs will include the root stock purchase; the green house structure, land lease and development, buildings, cold trucks, transport vehicles and initial working capital.


  1. Benefits to the Regional Economy: The investment in the floriculture industry is estimated to generate Birr 3 million per hectare per year at full capacity stage. This will generate income to the investor in the form of profit and to the regional state in the form of taxes. It will earn foreign exchange to the country and will also provide employment opportunity to job seekers of the regional people.


  1. Location: In the case of highland roses Misrak Gojam and Awi zones will be good sites and for lowland raised production Mirab Gojam zone (Bahir Dar and Merawi) will be best sites.