Happy valentines flower exports overtake Khat as second largest export


The flower fleet of the Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services went up by ten percent in relation to the romantic holiday of ‘Valentine’s Day’.
Ethiopia, which is the second biggest flower exporter in Africa after Kenya, made its mark on the flower global map in 2004.
Now the horticulture sector in general stands as the second largest hard currency source for the country. In the past fiscal year the sector secured USD 307 million despite somewhat difficult economic times.
Asrat Begashaw, Corporate Communication Manager of Ethiopian Airlines, told Capital that in the past two weeks before Valentine’s Day the airlines’ cargo division flew 945,620 kg of flowers to Brussels and Liege for the holiday. “This is an increase of 10 percent compared with the 2017 Valentine’s Day celebration,” Asrat said.
From the USD 307 million of hard currency earnings in the past budget year, 243.9 million came from floriculture. This includes cutting, roses and summer flowers, while the balance is from fruits and vegetables.
Floriculture’s hard currency generation has passed the earnings from the traditional export items including sesame seeds, gold, khat and leather. Coffee earned USD 838.15 million and 238,466 tons was exported.
Floriculture exports earned USD 271.2 million during the 16/17 budget year.
During the 2017/18 budget year the country earned USD 418.4 million from oil seeds, spices and pulses and USD 268.12 million from khat, a stimulant leaf exported mainly in regional destinations.
Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services is the significantly growing wing of the aviation group of Ethiopian Airlines. The carrier is one of the leading airlines in Africa and is flying to over 119 destinations. It boasts a Boeing freighter 777 Aircraft with a capacity of 100 tones. Ethiopian reported that its daily freighter services to Belgium, Brussels and Liege transported 100,000 kg of flowers.