Malteries Soufflet to build malt plant in Ethiopia

French grain group, Malteries Soufflet, signed a land lease agreement with the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) to build a malt plant in Ethiopia.

It will initially have a capacity of 60,000 tons and will be in service in 2020, according to the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).

The agreement was signed by Ms Lelise Leme, IPDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the General Manager of Soufflet Malt Ethiopia, yesterday at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa.

The land lease agreement is the culmination of a negotiation between the two organizations, facilitated by ATA and the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Soufflet, EIC, and ATA to build the barley malting plant in Bole Lemi II Industrial Park in Ethiopia's Oromia region in January 2017.

Mr Khalid Bomba, ATA CEO said "These kinds of investments represent Ethiopia's progression from subsistence, production-based agriculture to commercialization and agro-processing. This shift is critical for the transformation of the agriculture sector and the country's economic development."

Ms Lelise, said "This venture will have multiple impacts on the Ethiopian economy by creating a market for smallholder barley farmers, opening up employment opportunities for youth, and providing relief to the country's foreign currency challenge by reducing its malt imports."

"Ethiopia is an attractive country to invest in because of its vast, yet largely untapped potential," stated Mr. Christophe Passelande, CEO of Malteries Soufflet,

"The country's barley production capacity, the malt demand growth, coupled with Soufflet's extensive international experience, promises a successful collaboration."

"Ethiopia's development model relies on agriculture, the most dominant sector of its economy, serving as an engine for industrialization," said Dr. Belachew Mekuria, EIC Commissioner,

"We are pleased with Soufflet's investment because it marks an intersection between the two and showcases the possibilities for international investment in this country."

Addis Ababa, June 14, 2018 (FBC)