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Ethiopia earns $114mn from horticulture exports in 6 months
Ethiopia earns $114mn from horticulture exports in 6 months

Main export destinations for Ethiopian fruits and vegetables included EU countries, the UAE, Somalia, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan, among others.

World Bulletin / News Desk
Ethiopia generated $114 million from horticultural exports during the first six months of its budgetary year (which began last July), the Ethiopian Horticulture Development Agency (EHDA) said Tuesday.

"Nearly $91 million of total revenues were secured from the export of 289 million flower cuttings and over 20,000 tons of roses and summer flowers," Mekonnen Hailu, head of public relations at the EHDA, told The Anadolu Agency.

"The balance was obtained from nearly 77,000 tons of vegetables, fruits and herbs," he added.

According to Hailu, the Netherlands represents the main export destination for Ethiopian flowers, accounting for 80 percent of the country's total flower exports.

Other markets include Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France, Italy, Japan and the U.S.

Hailu said the main export destinations for Ethiopian fruits and vegetables included EU countries, the UAE, Somalia, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan, among others.

The EHDA has been registering growth from year to year since its establishment a decade ago, Hailu said.

"Ethiopia earned over $245 million from horticultural exports in the last fiscal year ending July 7, 2014," he explained.

"This amount exceeded by more than 6 percent the $230.5 million in revenue generated the previous budget year," he added.

The amount earned in the first six months of the current budget year, he said, had also surpassed – by 7.2 percent – the amount generated in the same period last year.

"Demand for Ethiopian horticultural products has increased significantly in the global market and the country's foreign currency earnings from the sector have grown in tandem," Hailu told AA.

"New investors – from the Netherlands, India, Ecuador and Saudi Arabia – have all recently engaged in the [horticultural] sector," he noted.

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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.