Ethiopia has a population of more than 103 million and is the second most populous country in Africa. Agriculture is the primary economic activity in Ethiopia and contributes 41.1% to the GDP of the country. 83.9% of the total exports from Ethiopia are agricultural products. The main exports are coffee, oilseeds, pulses, sugarcane, potatoes, and vegetables.
For the past decade, agriculture has been growing at a rate of 10% annually. This is a faster growth than that of Ethiopia’s population. The African Union had proposed that African countries should aim at committing 10% of public investments in the Agriculture sector by 2008. Ethiopia has been one of the few African countries to meet this target. In fact, in the past 25 years, Ethiopia has consistently exceeded the 6% target set by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Ethiopia’s agriculture story is considered to be too good to be true in some quarters.
This is one of the largest private companies in agriculture. It was established in 1998 and is under the MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group Company. It is involved in the production and processing of agricultural products. It has nine farms in different parts of the country. It also has a processing centre in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
It has coffee farms covering a total of 2,675 hectares in Gemadro, Duyina, Ayehu, and Beha. It also has the most extensive commercial tea plantations in Ethiopia. They are in Wush Wush and Gumaro in South Western Ethiopia. This company has an additional 15,539 hectares of land used for food production. Ethiopia has continued to gain recognition for its meat exports. Ethio Agri-CEFT is also involved in cattle fattening. In 2004, it set up a flowers farm in Holeta.
This company was established in 2009. It was initially formed to develop green projects, but in the process, the management chose to acquire six enterprises that were once owned by the state. Five of these enterprises were in the agricultural sector. They include the 10,030 hectares Bebeka Coffee Estate, Gojeb Agricultural Development, 12,116 hectares Limmu Coffee Farm, Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise, and Coffee Processing and Warehouse Enterprise (CPWE). In 2015, this company set up Guba Farm for the exclusive production of oilseeds. This company owns more than 50% of Ethiopia’s coffee plantations.
Karuturi Global Limited
This company was incorporated in 1994. It is one of the largest producers of roses in the world. It has greenhouses covering an area of 292 hectares. It produces over 555million stems annually. Its export markets are Holland, United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, Italy, North America, Australia, Dubai, and many more. After being in the flower business for so many years, Karuturi has ventured into food production. It has acquired large tracts of land in a bid to play a role in reducing food insecurity. They started with the growing of maize, rice, and oil palm.
Adulina Coffee Exporter PLC
This company is affiliated to Mullege, a multi-million international exporting company. Adulina is committed to exporting quality coffee and competitive prices. It has over 25 years’ experience in exporting premium Ethiopian coffee. This company owns one of the largest processing plants for washed and sundried coffee. In the past decade, Adulina has exported over 23,000 tons of coffee. This company also works with other coffee farmers and coffee buyers to ensure Ethiopia continues to be one of the leading coffee exporters. As part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, it set up a project to provide Hamma community with potable water. It also introduced eco-friendly coffee pulping machines to the coffee producers in the area.
Delma Agribusiness PLC
This company was established in 2004 with the primary objective of exporting agricultural produce from Ethiopia. They include chickpeas, mung beans, white pea beans, sesame seeds, and Niger seeds. This company works with large and small scale farmers to provide the needed market for their produce. Training is usually carried out to ensure the farmers appreciate the quality of food expected in the international market. Delma Agribusiness exports produce to Europe and China.
This company was established in 1992. The founders were two business partners who envisioned a company that would lead to rapid growth of modern mechanized farms, and the distribution of agricultural commodities. AHADU has a 5000-hectare mechanized farm. Approximately 1000 hectares have been set aside for tea and coffee production. There is also large scale production of Soya beans, corn, red pepper and sesame on this property. There are plans to increase the land to produce more tea and coffee. This company is committed to reducing food shortage in Ethiopia while providing enough for export.
Feed Green Ethiopia Exports PLC
This is one of the largest food export companies in Ethiopia. It is mainly involved in the production, packaging, and exporting food from Ethiopia. The exports include Ethiopia’s staple food Injera, a blend of Ethiopian spices, oilseed products, and cereal. The major export markets for these products include Europe, USA, the Middle East, China, and India. This company works with small and large scale farmers. They offer training to ensure the produce the take to the international market meets the required standards.
HANDA International PLC
This is an export company that focuses on agricultural products. It works with the local farmers to ensure they have the right quality and quantity of produce for the international market. Some of the exports include sesame seeds, Niger seeds, Sunflower, pulses, chickpeas, Green mung beans, black and white cumin, and red pea bean.
Tadesse Desta Business Group
This company was established in 2003. It is one of the export companies in Ethiopia dealing in Arabica green coffee beans. They are exported either sundried or washed. The major export markets are Europe, Australia, North America, and the Middle East. This company has freight service to ensure the shipment gets to the market promptly. Additionally, the company recently upgraded its coffee cleaning and storage unit to ensure the quality of the coffee is not compromised. It is estimated that this company has an annual cash flow of $32 million from imports and exports. In addition to coffee, this company also exports sesame seeds and kidney beans.
ABAT IMPORT & EXPORT PLC
This company focuses on the export of pulses and cereal. It works with small scale farmers. They ensure the farmers understand the need for reliable quality produce through training programs. Most small scale farmers suffer from lack of market, even in a country with a large population like Ethiopia. This company acts as a bridge between the farmers and the export market.
There are several companies involved in agribusiness. The growing population has played a critical role in the growth of the agriculture sector. The land ownership system in Ethiopia has also played a significant role in food production in the country since the government owns all the land. Unlike many African countries, unused arable land is seldom found in Ethiopia.