Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Ethiopian Farmers: Building Sustainable Trade Routes with the Netherlands

In a landmark collaboration, the Ethiopian government and Invest International, acting on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, have embarked on a transformative journey to construct the Cool Port Addis, a pioneering cooling centre poised to revolutionize the export of horticultural crops from Ethiopia. This strategic initiative, situated 70 kilometres from the capital Addis Ababa, marks a significant leap forward in enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of Ethiopia’s supply chain while unlocking new horizons for its farmers.

The Cool Port Addis project represents a paradigm shift in Ethiopia’s approach to horticultural exports. Presently reliant on conventional transportation methods such as trucks and aircraft, the project aims to transition towards more eco-friendly modes of transport, including rail and shipping. By leveraging state-of-the-art cooling facilities, Ethiopian farmers will gain unprecedented access to global markets, thereby diversifying their market reach and bolstering export capabilities.

At the heart of this ambitious endeavor lies a substantial investment of $27.5 million, with Invest International committing $11.7 million towards the inaugural phase. The Ethiopian government, recognizing the transformative potential of the project, has pledged its support by covering the remaining investment. With contracts for construction and operationalization set to undergo a rigorous tendering process, the Cool Port Addis initiative presents a prime opportunity for Dutch companies specializing in refrigerated logistics and horticulture to contribute to its realization.

Femke Bos, Director of Business Development, Strategy & Impact at Invest International, underscores the significance of this partnership in fostering sustainable trade corridors. “The Cool Port Addis project embodies Dutch Solutions for Global Challenges,” Bos affirms, emphasizing its role in greening the supply chain, creating employment opportunities, and empowering Ethiopian farmers to thrive in the global marketplace.

The establishment of Cool Port Addis exemplifies a robust public-private partnership between Ethiopia and the Netherlands. Lara Muller, Director Public at Invest International, underscores the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders involved in bringing this visionary project to fruition. “This partnership signifies a pivotal moment in Flying Swans’ history in Ethiopia,” asserts Programme Director Jeroen Bos. “The Dutch fresh sector eagerly anticipates this milestone, recognizing the pivotal role of efficient refrigerated logistics services in international fruit and vegetable procurement.”

With Flying Swans assuming a leading role in project development, the Cool Port Addis project holds immense promise for Ethiopia’s horticultural sector. By creating sustainable trade routes and minimizing post-harvest losses, the cooling centre is poised to unlock unprecedented growth and investment opportunities for Ethiopian farmers. As the project transitions from vision to reality, it heralds a new era of prosperity and sustainability for Ethiopia’s agricultural landscape, setting the stage for enduring partnerships and shared economic prosperity.

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