Ethiopia exported 4500 tones of flowers using 50 freighter from January 22 to February 14, 2024

Ethiopian export lobby and TradeMark develop e-learning plan for horticulture

The Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA), in collaboration with TradeMark Africa, has signed an agreement to develop comprehensive e-learning and knowledge management systems tailored to the growing needs of the country’s horticulture sector.

Members of the association will be equipped with advanced tools to enhance their productivity and global market competitiveness.

The project is part of a broader programme for the Djibouti-Ethiopia Corridor: ‘Promoting regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa through development of the Djibouti Corridor’.

It is also funded by the European Union (EU) through the Agence Française de Développement (AfD). The systems will enhance EHPEA’s capabilities in knowledge management and provide its members with e-learning opportunities.

The e-learning platform will offer valuable resources, training materials, and interactive modules to improve skills and knowledge sharing in horticulture production and export.

The platform includes a robust e-learning system offering flexible, scalable learning solutions and a knowledge management system that ensures valuable trade insights and best practices are effectively captured and disseminated.

The Executive Director of EPHEA, Mr Tewodros Zewdie, highlighted the advanced tools for knowledge management and online learning that the systems will provide, all crucial for maintaining competitiveness in the dynamic horticulture sector.

Future of Ethiopia’s horticulture

“Through this project, we are investing not just in technology but in the future of Ethiopia’s horticulture. Our partnership with TradeMark Africa will enable us to equip our members with the necessary resources to thrive in an increasingly digital marketplace. Integrating e-learning and knowledge management platforms in our operations presents myriad opportunities for Ethiopia’s horticulture sector.”

By leveraging digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and cloud computing, EHPEA members could optimise production processes, improve resource management, and enhance market access.

For example, IoT sensors can monitor soil moisture levels and weather patterns, enabling farmers to make data-driven decisions on irrigation and cultivation. This would increase yields, conserve resources, and mitigate environmental impact.

Mr Zewdie explained that data analytics provide insights into consumer preferences, market trends, and supply chain dynamics, empowering exporters and stakeholders in horticulture to adapt their strategies accordingly.

“By harnessing the power of ICT, Ethiopia’s horticulture sector can foster innovation, improve competitiveness, and sustainably meet the growing demand for high-quality produce in both domestic and international markets,” said Mr Zewdie.

The EU delegation head for Djibouti and IGAD, Eloise Roux said: “This project aligns perfectly with the European Union’s goals of promoting digital trade and sustainable economic development. Realisation of this initiative is part of a larger commitment by the European Union to support sustainable development projects across Africa. It is a prime example of how targeted support can facilitate significant advancements in trade infrastructure, benefiting regions such as the Horn of Africa. The funding arrangement underscores the importance of building resilient trade ecosystems that can adapt to the challenges of modern trade and digital transformation.”

During the signing event, TradeMark Africa’s Country Director for Ethiopia, Mr Ewnetu Taye, expressed enthusiasm about the project’s potential to transform trade practices.

More efficient trade practices

“Our support for EHPEA, through this project, reflects our commitment to harnessing the power of digital trade tools to drive economic growth and prosperity. By enhancing the digital capabilities of key sectors like horticulture, we are paving the way for more efficient and inclusive trade practices,” he said.

The new platforms will ensure that EHPEA members have continuous access to critical training and resources, helping them to stay ahead of industry trends and regulatory requirements.

Features of the new systems include a centralised knowledge repository, robust search capabilities, version control, and advanced analytics to monitor learning progress and engagement.

Ethiopia’s horticulture sector has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, emerging as an essential contributor to the country’s economy.

In the past three quarters of fiscal year 2023, the sector capitalised on Ethiopia’s strategic location and favourable climate, exporting over 215,800 tonnes of produce, and generating revenues exceeding $514 million.

Flower exports were solid, contributing nearly $444 million. Vegetables and fruits also performed well, earning $57 million and $13.3 million, respectively, making Ethiopia a competitive supplier of the global horticulture market.

Realising the full potential of e-learning and knowledge management systems in Ethiopia’s horticulture sector requires collaborative efforts from all stakeholders.

Industry players – including growers, exporters, and logistics providers – must embrace digital transformation and invest in technology infrastructure and capacity building.

Integration of ICT in Ethiopia’s horticulture sector promises to enhance economic outputs and sustainably transform the agriculture landscape, making it a pillar of the country’s economic development.

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