VCI Ethiopia has started in 2011 the tissue culture laboratory in Debre Zeit in Ethiopia. The laboratory is a joint venture with Olij Roses Ethiopia PLC. The annual production capacity of the laboratory is around 7-8 million plants. Next to the micro propagation activity we will have more than 1 hectare of greenhouse facilities for hardening the plants.
VCI Ethiopia has specialized herself in the large scale production of pathogen-free plant material through the tissue culture technique for both export and also domestic market. The export crops will be among others: Lilium, Gerbera, Perennials and Bedding plants. For the domestic market VCI will start with Banana, Pineapple, Potato and Sugar-cane.
Well over 20 years of know-how and experience is present in the company, since there is a close cooperation with VCI Nederland BV in the Netherlands. There is a substantial involvement from VCI Nederland and the Ethiopian laboratory can take advantage of the support and guidance from Dutch specialists and will use the in-house developed Quality Manufacturing System (QMS).
The aim of this lab is to serve the regional markets (Africa and Middle East). Tissue culture is a great advantage with respect to the traditional cultivation in the field.
In the global agribusiness and horticulture, there is a strong demand for high-quality and disease-free planting material. In addition there is a large demand for new and improved varieties. Both issues can only be achieved by using the tissue culture technique.
For Africa, particularly Ethiopia, there is a great demand for good quality planting material, moreover, bacteria and disease free. Currently, one cannot fulfil this demand by the lack of knowledge and availability of healthy planting material.
Ethiopia offers a very good investment climate in particular for tissue culture. The wages are relatively low, the availability of workers and staff is huge and the local demand for healthy plant material is high.
The transport and logistics infrastructure is sufficiently developed for global export opportunities. Besides Ethiopia is politically a stable country and the government measures to encourage foreign investors are protected by law. This has all contributed to the VCI Ethiopia's first commercial laboratory in Ethiopia.
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