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YBM, a private avocado oil processing company, has become operational within the state-owned Yirgalem Agro-processing Park in Southern region of Ethiopia
Established with a capital investment worth US$2.1mn, the new factory is set to start processing and exporting avocado oil to international markets including Europe, Asia and UAE. This facility is the second avocado processing facility in Ethiopia after Sunvado, established by Tradin Organic in 2019.
According to reports by Food Business Africa, the facility is set to source raw materials from own farm and over 40,000 surrounding smallholder farmers production clustered with 21 farmers service cooperatives and one fruit & vegetables supplying association.
YBM has indicated that it utilises state-of-the-art technology with a processing capacity of 5 tonnes per hour, to produce super standard, nutritious, tasty & pure crude & extra virgin avocado oil for the global market.
The company has commenced operations and so far, created 50 permanent jobs and 150 temporary positions.
The farmers used the avocado trees to provide shade for their coffee and for their own consumption or sold on the local market at meagre prices. However, most of the avocados were not harvested at all and were simply left to rot.
Avocado oil processing facilities offer farmers better price for their produce, while offering premium organic avocado oil to customers around the world.
In recent years, the Government of Ethiopia has been working to improve the quality and production of avocados in an attempt to include the fruit to its export items list.
The Government of Israel, through its development agency MASHAV, and USAID have been assisting the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia in introducing new avocado varieties and providing technical support.
Hass is one of the highly preferred avocado varieties from Israel, which Ethiopian farmers have been producing for export over the past few years.
According to reports by Addis Fortune, last year Ethiopia exported around 3,000 tonnes of the Hass avocado, generating close to US$800,000.
Though the value is 800% larger than what was earned four years ago, there is more potential.