The Dream of Horticulture Producers
Upper Awash Agro Industry Enterprise (UAAIE) is the biggest producer of oranges, mandarins and other tropical fruits like mango and papaya in Ethiopia. The company is also the main producer of and supplier of tomato paste, tomato juice, orange marmalade and guava nectar in the country.
The total landholding of the farm is nearly 5,000 hectare of which about 4,200 hectares is arable. Of these total, some 2,200 hectare of the land is occupied by perennial crops (1,200 hectare of citrus, 400 hectare of mango, and the remaining papaya, guava, lemon, lime and grape vine). The remaining 2,000 hectare of the area coverage is allotted for growing different annual crops with strong emphasis on the cultivation of tomatoes, followed by haricot beans, cotton and maize.
Located on the upper course of the Awash River, UAAIE uses flood irrigation to irrigate its crops. The annual minimum and maximum temperature of the enterprise is 15oC and 32oC, respectively, while its altitude lies in the range of 1,100 to 1,200 meters above sea level. Over all, UAAIE is located in an area, which is exceptionally suitable for horticultural development by virtue of its ideal agro ecologic conditions.
UAAIE is one of the oldest such establishments in Ethiopia and evolved both in ownership, size and structure through successive government changes in the four decades of its existence. It was first established as a private establishment in a joint ventures by local and foreign investors, prior its nationalization in 1975. Then after the implementation of the national land reform, it was organized as four different State farms under the Nura-Era Agricultural Development Enterprise (NADE), which in turn was directly supervised by the then Horticultural Corporation of Ministry of State Farms.
In 1993, it was re-established with its current name, “Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise (UAAIE)”, as a public enterprise having four farms and one processing plant under it. As a result, it was given the mandate to administer the four farms, i.e. Nura-Era, Merti-Jeju, Awara-Melka and Tibila, as well as Merti Fruit and Vegetable Processing Plant. In 2007, two of the farms (Awara-Melka and Tibila) were transferred to other companies leaving UAAIE with the rest two farms (Nura Era and Merti Jeju), as well as Fruit and Vegetable Processing Plant.
In July 2013, UAAIE was privatized and came under the management of HORIZON Plantations PLC, representing MIDROC Ethiopia. Currently, since its transfer to the new management of HORIZON Plantations PLC, the farm is undergoing a process of fundamental changes. All aspects of the farm operations and the farm organization are being revised and re-structured with the sole aim of making UAAIE the most profitable and viable farm that adopts state-of the-art production and processing technologies.
Within the next two years, UAAIE will invest substantial amounts in upgrading its factory processing facilities, in acquiring new machineries and farm implements, as well as heavy-duty trucks and machineries. Besides, it also envisages investing a lot to enhance its current production through establishing a modern tomato seedling nursery and a greenhouse to produce Beef tomato, on top of the investment it is aspiring to make on fruit sorting line. There is also an undergoing plan to invest in a 500-hectare modern banana plantation.
Considerable amount of capital will also be invested in the renovation and upgrading of the farm’s infrastructure, i.e. the irrigation system, buildings, roads, besides the undergoing work to construct a new bridge over the Awash River to connect two of its farms. Next to that, the farm is working hard to improve its farming practices through providing on-job trainings with the help of expatriate experts that are employed at various levels of the organization.
OUR EMPLOYEES UAAIE has 900 permanent employees and more than 6,000 daily laborers. Most daily laborers are housed in one of the 18 camps the company has within its territory. Apart from housing, the company also provides medical services through its six clinics and provides financial support to the seven schools and four kindergartens that are in its territory.
OUR CUSTOMERS Our clients range from local consumers to big governmental and private institutions, among which can be mentioned are the Ministry of Defense, Public Universities, Big international hotels, restaurants, and guesthouses across the country.