(April 10, 2024) The Ethiopian government must implement «shifting the raw material export model » to solve the key current challenges in the private food processing industry sectors which are inputs, finance, infrastructure, certification, and committed institutions. Addis Ababa University Food Process Engineering and Bioprocess Technology, Professor Shimelis Admassau (Dr.ENG) has urged.

« Shifting the raw material export model is the solution for the current challenges in the food processing sectors, because it helps for increasing productivity, food safety, and nutritional adequacy » Professor Shimelis Admassau said in a Panel discussion entitled Exploring strategies for sustaining business growth, and improved resilience within the food processing ecosystem in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, held on April  4 arranged for stalk holders forum program themed sustainable business growth and improved resilience in a supportive food processing ecosystem.

Professor Shimelis pointed out five basic current constraints faces in food processing manufacturing. The first challenge is the sustainability of inputs or the raw material. It is a very critical and challenging because it has an impact in the quality and necessity of the price.

The second challenge is access to finance and market because most of them are at the infant stage, small and medium enterprises which is why they need the support of access to Finance. The third challenge explained is access to infrastructure. The factories are getting the raw materials far from the main road. If the access to infrastructure is nearly available, they can increase productivity.

The other challenge in the food processing sector is Certification. Food safety and quality are important issues. It helps them to be competent in quality and sales in the global market. He also adds other challenges like appropriate technology, system certification, and innovation and challenges of the food processing industry in Ethiopia.

The last challenge is the absence of a committed ministerial office. He believes that « the population dynamic per year is increasing requiring food and nutrition. Experience of India, Bangladesh, and South East Asia countries have a focused ministry office that deals with food processing industries because the sectors require support, day-to-day activity, and solutions for their problem. » 

« The ministry of food processing industries will come soon, » said Professor Shimelis, underlining that most African Countries are staring out employment Opportunities and value-added products to other countries instead they can do the value addition and also create jobs that are also vital and must implement not for the government of Ethiopia but also expected others work African countries really on that.

The one-day form program took together different groups of stakeholders, including food processors, Government organizations, financial institutions, International NGOs, and USAID representatives .On the Stakeholders program forum, the Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing (AINFP) Program has done for the last 6 years as technical support for 52 food processing companies in Ethiopia, to increase the value of sales of their products amounting to over 20 million USD.

Studies show that In Ethiopia, more than 1,600 food processor industries, including small, medium, and large, have actively worked in food production, distribution, job creation, and import substitution

By Zelalem Birhanie

Editor African News Cannel