Assela Malt Factory, the state company recently sold to Ethiopian farmers, is set to triple its malt production to one million quintals per year.
Currently, the factory is producing some 360,000 quintals of barley per year. In Ethiopia Assela is the largest malt supplier to most of the breweries in the country. It has been under government possession for over 30 years.
It was sold for 1.3 billion birr (around $46 million at the current exchange rate) to Oromia Cooperatives Union since May 2018. It has been covering 25-30% of the demand of malt in Ethiopia.
After privatization the factory has replaced its old machine with the latest technology electrical boiler, according to the state broadcaster ETV report.
Located in Arsi, Oromia region, Assela Malt factory gets barley as input from the farmers in the area. After the farmers bought the factory, they have been able to get improved seed varieties.
The farmers have also been getting skills training to produce quality malt for the factory and from its profit, the factory has provided 35 million birr (around $1.25 million) interest free loan to the farmers who are also shareholders of the factory.
Currently there are two malt factories supplying malt to the fast growing breweries in Ethiopia. The second one was built a few years ago by Dashen Breweries in Debre Birhan area.
In Addition, in November 2017 Boortmalt, the world’s fifth largest malt producer, has indicated its plan to commence the third malt factory in Ethiopia around Debre Birhan city.
The lease agreement the company signed grants Boortmalt 15 hectares of land on which to build a 60 metric ton world-class malting plant.
Among the major beer brands in Ethiopia are, Dashen, Walia, Bedele and Harar of Heineken, Meta of Diageo, St. George of BGI, and the new entrants Habesha and Zebidar.
Currently over 50% of the malt used by these breweries has been imported as the malt factories at the moment are not in a possession to satisfy all the demands of the breweries.