At the beginning of this year, Emsflower from Emsbüren, Germany, started building its own cutting location in Ethiopia: Zuqualla Horti PLC. Last week, the German bedding plant and tomato giant exported the first cuttings.
Zuqualla Horti PLC is currently propagating geranium and osteospermum. Chrysanthemum will be added later. These are the three main varieties of Emsflower, says Wout van Koppen. He is general manager of Zuqualla Horti PLC. The smaller products that the company grows are still propagated by other companies.
Since a long time, Emsflower, the company of Bennie, Tom and Bart Kuipers, wished to set up their own propagation location in Ethiopia. When setting up large orders for the retail chains, it proved difficult to buy a large batch of starting material of a variety from just one supplier. It was a huge puzzle to fill large orders with a uniform product. Own production of cuttings may also lead to a lower cutting price.
Last year, the opportunity arose for Emsflower to start its own business in Ethiopia when an Israeli strawberry grower put its possessions and leaseholds up for sale. Emsflower built an ultramodern greenhouse of 5.5ha, with a height of 6 meters and movable screens. Water is recycled.
“Ethiopia has a good climate to grow cuttings, but even then you still want to grow as efficiently as possible,” says Van Koppen. The greenhouse is ready, the first cutting has been exported. Zuqualla Horti also grows strawberries in the open field.
Zuqualla Horti is located in Koka, 75 kilometers south of the capital Addis Ababa. Other propagators are also located in Koka, such as Dümmen Orange, Syngenta and Florensis.