Ethiopia: Boortmalt to double number of contracted malting barley growers in Ethiopia
Boortmalt is planning to double the number of its local malting barley growers from 20,000 to at least 40,000, the New Business Ethiopia reported on January 12.
Currently we are using around 20,000 contracted farmers, which we are planning to increase drastically. We have estimated that we would need between 40,000 to 50,000 farmers to grow malting barley for us. We are really pushing to increase that supply chain, Jurgen Van Der Weide, General Manager of Boortmalt Ethiopia, said.
In an exclusive interview with NewBusinessEthiopia.com, the country manager of Boortmalt indicated that the company is committed to a long term sustainable business model that benefits the farmers, industry players, and the economy of Ethiopia in general.
Boortmalt, the new entrant to Ethiopian malt industry, began producing malt last week with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year at its new factory in Debre Birhan Industry Zone. After meeting the current malt demand of breweries in Ethiopia, which is around 170,000 tonnes per year, Boortmalt Ethiopia plans to engage in export.
Meanwhile the current malting barley price will not make the factory in Ethiopia competitive in the export market, according to Mr. Van Der Weide, who hopes that the government will consider addressing the issue in order to sustainably benefit from the whole value chain of the industry, and fully utilize the potential of Ethiopia to stand out as major producer and exporter of malt in the near future.
Boortmalt at the moment is providing its own barley varieties with trainings and also using varieties needed by the breweries. To strengthen our partnerships with the farmers, we have over 50 people in the filed assisting the farmers, training them on applying inputs such as chemicals, etc. and we also assist them with financing, said Mr. Van Der Weide.
For producing 60,000 tonnes of malt per year, the new factory needs 75,000 to 80,000 tonnes of barley per year. Boortmalt is the leading maltster in the world with production capacity of 3 million tonnes of malt per year.
In Ethiopia, there currently are three malt factories supplying the local breweries. As the breweries continue to expand, most of them still import malt as the country has not yet self-contained producing enough for the breweries.
Following the entry of Bootmalt and Groupe Soufflet, it is expected that Ethiopia will be able to meet its domestic malt demand and move to export, engaging thousands of farmers into clustered malting barley farming.
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