Monday, February 6, 2012


Ethiopia records its first banana exports

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DIRE DAWA – The Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency (EHDA) this week celebrated a key milestone as the east African nation began exporting bananas for the first time ever.

In a nation where agriculture is the foundation, Ethiopia’s economy has long heavily relied on thriving coffee yields as its main cash crop. In recent years the EHDA has been encouraging Ethiopian farmers to acquire new farming techniques and new crops.

This week the country recorded its first shipment of 40 tons of organic banana to Saudi Arabia to meet growing demands for the produce in that market.

According to the EHDA, at least 11,400 farmers are involved in the project in a land covering 3100ha in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region. It added Ethiopia was in the process of exporting 200 tons of bananas per week for the Jeddah market following an agreement with a foreign company interested in exporting.

Ethiopia has expressed great optimism in this development and other agricultural advancements it has achieved in recent years. It says by 2014, the country will generate more than US$530 million in revenue from flower exports alone.

Two decades after the collapse of Somalia, which was renowned for its thriving banana industry Ethiopia welcomed its first ever banana exports. Somalia was also the largest exporter of the crop in East Africa which reached the Middle East and EU markets. According to a recent survey, the Somali banana is still preferred in places such as the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

At its peak of production, Somalia used about 12,000ha of land to produce the crop and it employed roughly 120,000 people. Researchers also claimed that the Somali bananas do not experience major pests or diseases and that the riverine soil was rich in nutrients. Currently, the country grows bananas in 3,000ha for local markets.
Hargeisa- Somcable the firm that has won the rights to bring Fiber Optic Infrastructure to Somaliland began digging the trenches where the Fiber Optic cables will be buried in the capital of Hargeisa today. SOMCABLE’s preparation before the installation of the cables underground has been welcomed with choice celebration by the residents of Hargeisa who have long waited for the day of fast internet connections and cheap ISP provider.

According to Engineer Mustafe Jama who is the engineer in charge of the preparation and digging of the trenches in the capital of Hargeisa, their firm will also began trench digging in the cities of Burco,Borama and Berbera in the coming weeks as the arrival of the cable will be soon. Somaliland’s business community is also very enthusiastic of Fiber Optic connection that the country will be receiving in the coming weeks as it is expected to be major boost for the business community.

Two of the largest markets for Vietnam are Asia, accounting to 67 per cent; and Africa, accounting to 23 per cent. Both these markets were once dominated by India and Pakistan, with Vietnam only marketing 3 per cent fragrant rice to Asia and Africa.

Hanoi, Feb 6 (VNA) – Vietnam shipped abroad 279,266 tonnes of rice in January, bringing home 153.650 million USD, a 50 percent decrease year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

The largest buyer of Vietnamese rice in January was Asia, which imported 228,263 tonnes, accounting for 81.74 percent of the country’s total rice export volume. It was followed by America which 27,255 tonnes, making up 9.75 percent. Other importers were countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

VFA predicted that several first months of 2012 will see the sharp increase in rice export from India and Pakistan, leaving difficulties to other rice exporters including Vietnam.

Experts cited the long lunar New Year holiday in January in Vietnam as a reason behind the decrease in its rice export.

The Mekong delta region, the country’s largest granary, is expected to yield an output of 10.349 million tonnes in the winter- spring crop, equal to the number of the same crop last year. (VNA)

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