Cactus Ethiopia


  • Project P1 Cactus Ethiopia: Establishing industrial processing and marketing of Beles-based food products for increased income in rural communities in Northern Ethiopia


Project Duration: 6 Years (2011-2017)

Project Location: Ethiopia

Image Brochure:

UNIDO Beles (Cactus Pear) Project Image Brochure 2015 (download)

Project progress:


GAFÉIAS project submission (2011-05),

UNIDO Service Summary Sheet (SSS) & Preparatory Assistance (PA) approval (2012-06),

UNIDO/GAFÉIAS preparatory assistance mission 1 (Ethiopia, 2011-11 till 2012-03),

UNIDO main project document (prodoc) approval (2012-06),

Fund mobilization process (since 2012-07),

OFID fund approval (2013-03),

UNIDO/GAFÉIAS feasibility study (2013-04 till 2013-08),

UNIDO/GAFÉIAS project implementation mission 2 (Ethiopia, 2013-08-25 till 2013-09-15),

Conference: Beles Based Agribusiness Development in Tigray Region: A Project Kick-off Meeting with Key Stakeholders, 29-30th August 2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

Market Study (2014-04),

Communication Strategy (2014-06),

Industrial premises renovation (2014-09),

Machinery procurement (2014-09),

FAIRTRADE cooperation (2014-09).

UNIDO/GAFÉIAS project mission 3 (Ethiopia, 2014-09-15 till 2014-10-15)


UNIDO and OFID supporting agribusiness development in the Tigray region of Ethiopia (article download) (UNIDO News Centre web link)

FAO supports members of a cooperative of women in Northern Ethiopia (Mekelle, Tigray) producing cactus pear marmalade (article download) (UN News Centre web link)


UNIDO Project Manager:

Aurelia Patrizia Calabrò in Bellamoli

UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Senior Industrial Development Officer
Chief, Agro-Industries Technology Unit

Agri-Business Branch

Wagramer Strasse 5

P.O. Box 300 (D1548)

A-1400 Vienna - AUSTRIA
Phone: +43- 1-26026 3419



UNDIO Project Funds:

UNIDO PA Fund October 20, 2011: YAETH10003

UNIDO Fund June 20, 2012: SAP ID 100092, XX/ETH/11/X05 (43884)

UNIDO Fund April 11 - June 30: Feasibility Study


OFID Fund mobilzation:

OFID – The OPEC Fund for International Development, March 20,2013:

Technical Assistance Grant Operations

Since OFID's inception, technical assistance operations have constituted its core grants activities. Such grants are extended to national and regional development projects that aim at sustainable development and poverty reduction, and that serve the poorest segments of society, particularly those in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Women and children, especially, are accorded high priority.

Technical assistance grants are awarded largely on the basis of the type of project and its expected outcomes, the number of beneficiaries and the recipient country’s socio-economic situation. As of December 2012, OFID had provided some US$548.2m in outright grants across all programs, working with UN agencies and a host of international and national NGOs, among many other partners, to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Supported Projects and Programs

Technical Assistance

Establishing a Beles Agro-industrial Processing Plant

Sector: Agriculture

Organization: UNIDO

Country: Ethiopia

Region: Africa

Amount: US$600,000

Approval Date:3/20/2013


Total Cost: US$

Executing Agency:

Grant administrator: OPEC Fund for International Development

Project Description:

The project aims at establishing a processing plant to manufacture a stable supply of marketable Beles-based products. The industrial transformation and packaging of fruits and pads into various high-quality food commodities will not only increase the shelf life but also increase the marketability both domestic and international markets. The plant will contain modern fruit processing technology and its staff will be sufficiently trained to operate and maintain the plant and handle the food according to good manufacturing practices.

Copyright 2013 -


Project documents:

Abstract (download)

GAFÉIAS Presentation (download)

UNIDO Presentation (download)

ICC Link to CAPSULED - Cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) for Sustainable Livelihoods in the Ethiopian Drylands


File Sharing [registration required]


Project stakeholder:

International Project Stakeholder:

UNIDO, Agri-Business Development Branch;

BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences (Vienna, Austria);

FAO - Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations;

HELVETAS - Swiss Intercooperation in Tigray, Ethiopia;


ICC - International Association for Cereal Science and Technology;

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - University of California;

University of Botswana;

Project Counterparts in Ethiopia:

Ministry of Industry - The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;

EIAR - Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research;

Tigray Bureau of Industry and Trade;

EPA - Environmental Protection Authority, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;

EPA – Tigray Environmental Protection Land Administration and Land Use Agency;

TARI - Tigray Agricultural Research Institute;

TAMPA - Tigray Agricultural Marketing and Promotion Agency;

Small and Micro Enterprise Development Agency of Tigray Region (Regional SMEDA);

Mekele University - College of Dryland Agriculture, Department of Land Resources, Management and Environmental Protection, Food Sciences and Technology;

Adigrad University, College of Agriculture;
Bahir Dar University;

Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adigrat, Tigray;

Adigrat Diocesan Catholic Secretariat;


In Memoriam Meles Zenawi:

Meles Zenawi Asres: Climate Change

 Äthiopien nach dem Tod von Premierminister Meles Zenawi, August 2012


Price announcement "Premium for prickly pears and dragon fruit" on Fairtrade International Website:























































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