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The Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) signed a final investment agreement on 24 November 2017 with Boortmalt, a leading global malting company that aims to build an environmentally sustainable multi-million dollar malting plant in DebreBerhan Industrial Park (DBIP). EIC signed the agreement on behalf of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) for the construction of a 15 hectare plant that will be the first anchor investment in the DBIP.
Signed at the EIC office by FitsumArega, Commissioner of EIC, and YvanSchaepman, CEO of Boortmalt, the agreement is a result of a collaboration between the EIC, Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), and Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR). The ATA and EIC have previously developed several business cases on agro-processing opportunities, such as this greenfield investment in barley malting. Boortmalt is expected to source malt barley through contract farming agreements with 40,000 – 60,000 smallholder farmers throughout Ethiopia.
“This signing marks an important milestone for all parties, and particularly the ATA as our first conversion of a major international investment. Such ventures contribute to the commercialization of smallholder farmers, which is instrumental to Ethiopia’s aim of eradicating poverty and achieving middle income status by 2025,” stated MirafeGebriel Marcos, Senior Director of Agri-business & Markets at the ATA, “Boortmalt’s malting plant will be a major market for smallholder farmers who stand to supply over 96,000 metric tons of raw malting barley annually”.
Currently, the national malt barley demand far exceeds supply, with Assela and Gondar Malt Factories being the primary suppliers of malt. With the advent of numerous breweries in recent years, Ethiopia has been forced to fulfil nearly 70% of breweries’ needs with imported malt. Moreover to boosting malt supply, Boortmalt’s presence in Ethiopia will play a role in import substitution, enable the country to save hard currency, and limit local beer producers’ dependency on imports.