Constraints and Opportunities of Horticulture Production and Marketing in Eastern Ethiopia

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Author : Bezabih Emana and Hadera Gebremedhin

Year : February 2007

More than 85% of the Ethiopian population, residing in the rural area, is engaged in
agricultural production as a major means of livelihood. However, the agricultural productivity
is low due to use of low level of improved agricultural technologies, risks associated with
weather conditions, diseases and pests, etc. Moreover, due to the ever increasing population
pressure, the land holding per household is declining leading to low level of production to
meet the consumption requirement of the households. Hararghe highland is one of the highly
populated areas in Ethiopia. As a result, intensive production is becoming a means of
promoting agro-enterprise development in order to increase the land productivity. Horticulture
production gives an opportunity for intensive production and increases smallholder farmers’
participation in the market.
The production of horticultural crops is a major element of the farming system of some of the
woredas1 in the eastern part of Ethiopia such as Fedis, Haramaya, Kombolcha, Kersa, Meta,
Kurfa Chelle, Grawa, Jarso in eastern Hararghe zone and some other woredas such as
Gemechis in western Hararghe zone, and Dire Dawa Provisional Administrative City Council.
In the areas where irrigation water is available and farmers have access to the market,
horticulture production is a major source of cash income for the households. Horticultural
products are supplied to the local markets and exported to Djibouti and Somalia. Horticulture
production and marketing is one of the major sources of livelihood for a large number of
farmers, transporters, middlemen and traders in the area.”

Contributor by: Meftuh Shash