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Ethiopia’s first commercial food laboratory, which has been certified to meet international standards will be able to analyze food, water and medicine to make sure that what Ethiopians are eating is safe.
Bless Agri Food Laboratory Services Plc, a joint venture between an Ethiopian citizen and a French national, is set to go operational in April.
Belete Beyene, Managing Director, says they will be able to provide testing on a wide range of agricultural products and in addition safety, will help food be more nutritious.
The laboratory will be operating fully by next April at its new six storey building constructed in Legetafo, 20 Km North of Addis.
“This construction so far has consumed four million USD,” said Belete.
The laboratory will help to ensure food safety and it will also reduce the hustle and bustle exporters face when they export without testing. “Products we certify are accepted anywhere in the world as we are certified by ISO 17025,” said Belete.
Belete is confident that there is a market for the centralized national laboratory that caters to the food industry.
“Ethiopia is famous for its agricultural exports. The country’s production is due to improve,” he said. “This is a huge market for us, in addition to others that will come from other African countries,” he said.
He points out that many international companies are eager to work on testing agricultural products for export.
They plan to link with universities to help develop food products.
The joint venture also involves Hilina Enriched Foods Plc which was established seven years ago.
With a production capacity of 40 tons per day, Hilina makes Therapeutic foods for international organizations like the UNICEF and WFP in addition to peanut butter, according to Belete.
Its products are exported to 50 countries worldwide. Nevertheless, almost 50 percent of what they make is consumed locally.
Belete and Family Plc own 51 percent of the joint venture [both companies] while and Onyx Development owns the remaining.
Last Thursday, December 19, the French ambassador and minister of foreign trade along with Ethiopia’s trade and industry ministers paid a visit to the organization.