"My Roses Are My Children"

How a passionate Ethiopian grower looks at his flowers

By: THURSD. | 10-05-2021 | 4 min read

To get the picture complete about the new stunner rose Red Tacazzi+ from Africa, it is necessary to get the opinion from the Ethiopian nursery too. After all, without their discovery, we would not be able to enjoy the fabulous shape, fragrance, and appeal of this beautiful novelty. This is the voice of Ziway's operational manager Ermiyas Solomon.

From Ethiopia to the Netherlands

Ziway Roses is the nursery from the original Dutch company Holla Roses. The nursery is at the start of the production supply chain that goes from the borders of Lake Ziway in Ethiopia to the auction clocks at Royal FloraHolland in the Netherlands. My Roses Are My Children by Ziway Farms quote

Who is Ermiyas Solomon?

"I have been working for Holla Roses for 10+ years as an operational manager. I am a horticulturalists with experience of 16+ years in the flower industry. I have also worked in the fruit-growing industry, but growing roses gives me much more satisfaction."

What do you enjoy so much about growing roses?

"My heart is with the roses. The best way to explain is how I look at flowers. To me, they are like a child that you have to take care of so it can mature. You raise them, feed them, water them, and they grow to be a beautiful child. I communicate with the roses on our farm to make them happy children. And they communicate back to me. They let me know when they need something to grow better, and my task is to provide that to them."

My Roses Are My Children by Ermiyas Solomon

Tell us about the Holla Roses and Ziway nurseries.

"Ziway Roses is one of the biggest rose farms in Ethiopia. It was established in 2005. Today we - the 1,250 people working at Ziway - grow roses on 42 hectares of land. Fun fact is that 80 percent of the workers at our nursery is a woman. The farm is located in Ziway Batu town along the side of lake Ziway, at an altitude of 1,650 meters above sea level and 163 km south of the Ethiopian capital city, Addis Ababa." We are growing high-quality roses ranging from T-hybrid, and intermediate to supper sweetheart varieties. Annually about 120 million roses are exported to the European market. The sustainable Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) production system leads us to high-quality roses and high-quality export to satisfy the demand of our customers. Our goal is to continue working to responsibly conserving the existing natural environment, and ensure the health, safety, and welfare of employees. So far, the Ziway roses are certified for different international and local standards, like MPS-ABC, MPS-SQ, MPS GAP, ETI, GLOBAL GAP, GRASP, Fairtrade, Code of Practice G"

How many varieties are you currently growing?

"Currently we have 24 different varieties of roses, all are year-round varieties. Three of the intermediates are Tacazzi+ varieties, the original Tacazzi+, Pink Tacazzi+, and Red Tacazzi+."

You have been growing the original rose Tacazzi + and the Pink Tacazzi+ for a while. What is your experience with those?

"These varieties have vibrant color with good production."

Holla Roses discovered the red mutant in the Pink Tacazzi+ that turned out to become this new Red Tacazzi+ rose? How did that happen?

"Yes, we did discover the red mutant of Pink Tacazzi+. As agronomists we always do rounds with all production teams, and we always check things carefully. In some times during the rainy season, we see mutations of varieties. This is how we found this red color hidden in the field among Pink Tacazzi+ roses. We took it out and sent it to Dümmen Orange for more propagation and selection. Then this flower came back to us, really being a Red Tacazzi+ rose now, and we continued. Now we have reached 2 hectares of planting this variety."

My Roses Are My Children by Ziway Farms quote

To what extent can rose Red Tacazzi+ be compared with the other Tacazzi+ varieties?

"The cultivation of Red Tacazzi+ is more or less the same as other varieties within the Tacazzi+ group. The shelf life is also very good, and the color is a perfect red for the industry. I can say that the Red Tacazzi+ is the dominant red that nicely attracts the eye."

What are the advantages of this rose?

"The Red Tacazzi+ has a new red color for the industry. In the time to come, it will be dominating the market for African red roses at the European market. Why? It has a nice shape of a flower, it is intermediate in the flower head size, it has excellent vase life, good growth potential, and vibrant red color."

How do you see the future of rose Red Tacazzi+?

"It will be very bright, it will one of the best red-colored roses, I am sure."

My Roses Are My Children by Ziway Farms



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