Enhancing Malt Barley Production and productivity to meet domestic demand
The malt barley market is fast growing at 15-20 % per year, driven by corresponding growth in beer consumption of approximately 20 % per annum. Recently, investment on breweries has increased and consequently the demand for malt barley has also increased significantly. Considering the recent established and newly emerging breweries in the country, malt barley demand reached about 214, 000 tons with an increasing trend. However, only about 40 % of the demand has been met through domestic supply (Malt barley Public-Private Partnership Project report, 2014). Though the malt barley project has contributed to the enhancement of productivity, the gap between domestic supply and demand is still high. However, the favorable biophysical environment of the country is a huge opportunity to enhance domestic malt barley production and substitute the import and thereby save hard currency. Arsi and Bale zones of central Oromia regional state have tremendous potential to meet this growing demands, but stakeholders have identified shortage of quality malt barley seed as a key issue. Therefore, given the expanding demand due to increased capacities of existing breweries and those under establishment, there is a need for intensified research and development efforts along the malt barley value chain for increasing productivity, production and quality of malt barley in Ethiopia, without which, the country’s reliance on imports is likely to grow even further.
EIAR in partnership with other stakeholders has been putting efforts to support farmer cooperative unions in Arsi zone (Oromia), aiming at meeting import substitution for malt barely. This effort did not however bear fruits as much as it was anticipated since many of the brewery companies still continue to import malt barely. On the other hand, the brewery companies will be interested to buy malt barely from the local farmers because the price and the quality will attract them. Low quality of locally produced malt barely is the main reason that prevents the brewery companies to use local malt barely. The cooperative unions are unable to meet the quality requirements of the brewery industries. The innovation challenge is ensuring a critical mass of farmer organizations in Arsi zone produce high quality malt barely based on the requirements set by the brewery companies. Helping the cooperative unions produce high quality malt barely seeds based on the quality criteria set by the brewery companies the strategic intervention chose by Sinana Research Centre to achieve this goal. For now, the critical issue the innovation network wishes to address is solving the issue of seed quality at farmer’s level. Consistency, volume of supply, market linkages etc. are still the challenges that could be addressed by the innovation actors at a later stage. The Sinana Research Center (EIAR), is therefore, planning to support two major malt barley seed and grain producing farmers’ cooperatives (Tuka-ketara cooperatives in Lemu-Bilbilo district and Hunde Gudina Cooperative in Munesa district) to help them become lead organizations in producing high quality malt barley seeds to be supplied to their members.
EIAR, Public extension office, Asella malt factory, Cooperative promotion agency office, Galama Farmers’ Cooperative union, breweries, Asella seed quality control and certification laboratory, malt barley grain and seed traders, and NGOs involved in supporting malt barley seed and grain production and marketing will be the main actors in the loop. This intervention is envisaged to contribute to the production and marketing of high quantity malt barley grains by farmers in Arsi zone to meet the goal of achieving import substation. Two facilitators are chosen for this initiative and the lead is a socio-economic researcher from Sinana Research Center, in Arsi and another researcher from the Amhara region, will be the collaborator organization, whose mandate is to prepare the honey companies selected by ASPIRE for global trade and finding a sustainable markets in Europe. Making the companies participate in trade fares around Europe and the Middle East is one of the important functions.
CDAIS project is assisting Kulumsa Agricultural Research Centre in partnership with relevant government organizations, breweries and NGOs, in supporting farmer cooperatives in Arsi zone to increase the production of quality malt barley seed.
Supporting farmers cooperatives to increase the production of quality malt barley seed
Oromio Region, Arsi zone
National Innovation Facilitators
Abiro Tigabie, Tolesa Alemu
Discover Abiro Tigabie’s profile here and Tolesa Alemu’s profile here!