Ethiopia is an interesting growth market for beer breweries. Dutch beer breweries too, like Heineken and Bavaria, have started operating in that country. Its large and rapidly growing population combined with improved economic and political stability are creating a growing beer and beverage market. One of Agriterra’s new clients is Tsehay Multipurpose Cooperative Farmers’ Union, a union of 51 cooperatives, among which many member farmers cultivate barley. Beer breweries in Ethiopia still import much of their barley due to shortages on the local market. Both farmer and brewery can profit significantly by improving and increasing the production locally as well as improving the chain of supply from farmer to glass of beer.
Tsehay is negotiating presently with Gondar Malt Factory about the supply of 2000 tons of barley for the coming season. The largest bottleneck is the absence of working capital with which to buy up barley from the farmers in timely ways. Farmers want the union to pay them directly. If that does not happen, they prefer to sell to a trader, who probably pays less, but immediately. Agriterra and SNV Ethiopia are going to support Tsehay as it organises the finances and strengthens the barley chain, from farmer to cooperative, from union to factory. As well, Agriterra supports training to increase and improve production.