The 10th Specialized International Agriculture and Food Exhibition (AGRIFEX-ETHIOPIA) has been opened at Addis Ababa Exhibition Center on May 11, 2017. The event, organized by Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations under the motto ‘agro-processing for agricultural transformation’, was opened by Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha, and was attended by foreign embassy and other dignitaries. Some 35 foreign and 25 local companies are taking part in the trade fair. The event will continue until May 15.
Addis Chamber Deputy Secretary General, Ato Shibeshi Bettemariam, in a speech he delivered underlined the significance of agriculture in Ethiopia. Agriculture is the lifeline of millions. In the just ended 2016 fiscal year agriculture and allied activities contributed 36.7% of GDP, which in value terms mean a total of 274 billion birr. Agriculture still contributes 80% of the total employment in the country, he said.
H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha, while opening the event said, agro-processing sector could make a significant contribution to the transformation of agriculture and by extension rural and national development. Vibrant agro-industrial activities can expand the markets for primary agricultural products, add value by vertically integrating primary production and food processing systems and minimize post-harvest losses.
H.E. Dr. Eyasu went on to mention a challenge. One of the major concerns for policy makers and business operators is whether local firms could cope with the rapidly changing business dynamics and the resultant fierce competition from all corners of the world. One cannot afford to ignore the challenge from global competition.
The event will be closed in a discussion on related theme of the event on May 15, 2017.