allafrica.com -- Sher-Holland, the biggest flower producer in the world, has this week set its foot in Ethiopia as 'Sher-Ethiopia', leasing 300 hectares of land to embark on what will be the biggest flower farm in the country.
The company, which has already started the ground work at the plot, will in two years time nearly doubles the volume of the country's flower export, if all goes according to its plan.
Currently, the total area of greenhouses built by the existing developers in the country is about 90 hectares, while Sher-Ethiopia will be building 40 hectares of greenhouse every year beginning 2005, Joost Van Kling, Company Operational Director told The Daily Monitor. The Director would not say how much Sher-Ethiopia would invest in developing the farm.
The company will start exporting beginning the 1st of October this year, and it will deploy its own cargo plane to shuttle its exports between Addis Ababa and the Netherlands, according to Van Klink.
"Sher-Ethiopia will boost the country's flower market in many ways, while it is more than willing to work together and cooperate with existing flower developers in Ethiopia- sharing its profound skills and knowledge in the sector," the Director said.
The country's total earnings from the flower export last year was less than five million Euros, while Sher-Ethiopia expects to earn double that amount in its first year venture. According to its plan, the company will have built 200 hectares of greenhouses five years from now, which could generate a 100 to 120 million Euros according to the current market price.
The plot the company has secured is located in Zeway, some 160 kilometres away from Addis Ababa. Once in full swing, the farm will create job opportunities for some five thousand people in the locality, according to the Director.
Sher-Holland has about similar size farm in Kenya, which employs five thousand people.
DID YOU KNOW?
telecom.net -- MESKEL FLOWERS IS THE FIRST PRIVATE COMPANY TO SPECIALIZE IN THE PRODUCTION AND EXPORT OF CUT-ROSES IN ETHIOPIA. INCORPORATED IN 1992 ON A 54-HECTARE FARM, THE COMPANY GROWS THREE MAJOR VARIETIES OF ROSES ON THREE HECTARES OF GREENHOUSE FACILITIES. THE FARM IS LOCATED NEAR LAKE ZIWAY (135 KILOMETERS SOUTH OF ADDIS ABABA AT AN ALTITUDE OF 1650 METERS). WATER FOR CONTINUOUS IRRIGATION IS PUMPED AND GRAVITY-FED FROM THE NEARBY LAKE. AT FIRST, THE COMPANY DEVELOPED OPEN FIELD STATICE AND ALLIUM CUT-FLOWER PRODUCTION AND EXPORTED 4 MILLION STEMS TO THE NETHERLANDS IN 1993. DURING 1995/96, THE COMPANY PRODUCED AND EXPORTED 250,000 KILOGRAMS OF GREEN BEANS TO EUROPE. THE COMPANY DIVERTED ITS ATTENTION TO CUT ROSES IN 1997 AND EXPORTED ITS FIRST BATCH TO EUROPE IN JANUARY, 1998.
Fortune Ethiopia's Business Weekly, 2001 -- Owner of Meskel Flower, Eskindir Joseph, who has been under arrest in connection with loans taken from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), has appeared in court for the second time where he appealed to be released on bail on grounds that he had put up 10 million Br worth of property as a collateral when taking loans. He also said he has not yet taken the additional loans of six million Birr he was permitted to have with sufficient collateral. Police accused him for taking additional loans not only for illicit collateral but also while having unserviced loans with interests. Eskindir Joseph is currently sitting in jail...
UPDATE: ESKINDIR HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM PRISON