SNV Ethiopia supports fruit marketing cooperatives in Southern Ethopia since 2007. They facilitate business to business arrangements, business planning and improved operational management, and access to critical services. This case describes the results of the support to two fruit cooperatives focusing respectively on mangos and highland fruits.
The southern region of Ethiopia, Arabaminch Zuria, is known for its high potential in tropical fruit production and currently contributes 10 to 15% to national fruit production. However, its potential could be as high as 40%. SNV’s BOAM programme is therefore supporting the introduction of new and faster technology to change old mango trees into improved and marketable types. SNV started with identifying the major constraints in mango production and marketing, and proposed some leverage intervention strategies, such as strengthening producer organisations. A business plan was developed, and cooperatives were trained in general management principles and values. This lead, among others, to improved income for members, and an improved financial position of the cooperative.
Ethiopia, while being an important actor in the world’s honey and beeswax sector, was until recently banned from exporting any animal-based product to the EU, where an excellent market for Ethiopian honey exists. To do so, a country needs to have the ‘Third Country with Approved Residue Monitoring Plan’, an EU regulation controlling exports to EU member states. Using information from experiences in Zambia, SNV prepared a successful action plan for Ethiopian honey Third Country Listing. Simultaneously, measures were taken and financially supported through SNV’s BOAM program to link exporters in Ethiopia to importers in the EU. Third Country listing is expected to also benefit the local market. Infrastructures that have been created make it possible to know who producers are, where they are located, how much they produce and what the quality of their produce is.
Opportunities for adding value along the milk chain are far greater than so far exploited. Many consumers reject local milk (products) because of quality defects, short shelf life etc., and instead revert to imported products that are 2-3 times more expensive. Winning consumers and thus replacing imports, requires a systematic approach towards quality measurement, and an economically viable payment structure. SNV and its partners designed such a system and the case describes how it was implemented together with a local milk cooperative. The combination of 1) response to a market opportunity, 2) advisory service and capacity development, and 3) implementation of a simple quality-based payment for raw milk created enthusiasm along raw milk suppliers. It enabled them to source and market much larger quantities of raw milk and a limited range of products at a better price.
The Chencha district in Southern Ethiopia has nearly 50 years of experience in growing highland fruits, including apples, pears and plums. Apples are marketed through the Chencha Highland Fruits Marketing Cooperative. SNV aided the cooperative by identifying problems constraining apple production and marketing in the area, and identifying several key intervention areas such as supporting apple fruit quality improvement activities, strengthening existing cooperative and coordinating overall sub-sector development. SNV provided capacity development services, which ultimately led to increased productivity, income and employment, ensuring the cooperative’s long-term sustainability.
The essence of practicing traditional beekeeping by Ethiopian small farmers, along with other farming activities, has been meeting basic subsistence needs but does not provide profit and capital growth. This while the potential is high because honey is often organic; however, official standards such as ISO and HACCP certification are needed to enter the international market. The approach and methods of SNV–Ethiopia have been to provide support to Ethiopian honey and beeswax processors and exporters individually in the form of technical advice and financial grants that could help them develop and implement improvements to support the growth of their enterprises. In addition, SNV aided in securing organic certification.
Ethiopia exported its first consignment of honey to the European Union (EU) in 2008 after a three year period of preparations towards attaining Third Country Listing status. This was the result of a deliberate set of interventions to help increase processing capacity in combination with an out-grower scheme to supply honey. This case study explains how increasing exports was achieved with inclusion and expansion of smallholder beekeeping practices, and the development of the business sector as a whole.
The 8,193 small holder farmers, who were directly trained as part of the out-growers programme of 8 leading exporters, saw an increase in production of 23%, and a revenue increase of 27%(US$) / 83%(ETB) during the last three years alone. An additional 72,000 beekeepers experienced indirect and smaller effects of the training on their income. The additional incomes enabled farmers to improve the living conditions of their families and send their children to school. Based on its 122% growth in exports value and 107% growth in its share of the world exports, Ethiopian honey export was categorized by the International Trade Centre as a ‘star’ in structural performance.
See also: Inclusive Business at SNV