Profit-making idea: Blueberries and sunflowers – two of Ethiopia’s top agricultural opportunities

The cultivation of blueberries and the production of sunflower oil are two of the biggest agricultural opportunities in Ethiopia, according to Nuradin Osman, founder and CEO of Grosso Foods, an Africa-focused agribusiness company with its headquarters in the Netherlands.

Thanks to its health benefits, growing global demand for blueberries presents a “huge opportunity” for Ethiopia, said Osman during the African Agri Council’s Investment Food Forum 2020. Ethiopian Airlines’ cargo division offers a large number of connections to all corners of the world, making Ethiopia a good location from which to export blueberries.

Osman further highlighted the potential to grow sunflowers and process these into sunflower oil. Although sunflower oil is used for cooking through the continent, Osman said it is not widely traded between African countries. The Ethiopian Government is striving to boost the country’s domestic manufacturing sector and has introduced several investment incentives.

One of the benefits of Ethiopia – compared to a region such as West Africa – is that it has large areas of relatively clear arable land, according to Osman. Investors therefore don’t have to commit substantial upfront capital to clear the land of vegetation. “You can actually start [on] day one [with] preparing the land and planting crops,” he explained.