Heniken Brewery has awarded unions, farmers and others for demonstrating relatively high performance for the increasing volume and quality production of barley in Arsi Zone. It did so as part its four year Create project being implemented in Arsi Zone, west Arsi, and Bale Zone districts that eye at promoting market chain and productivity of barley, a major grain needed for malt or brewing beer.
Serawit Bezabih, Heniken Cooperate Relation Manager and Tarekegn Garumsa, Heniken Raw Material Developmental Manager told journalists that CREATE project, has been implemented in the area with the view to enhancing quality barley production so as to cut down import.
Two years ahead of the project time, the company had handed over awards and extended recognition to smallholder farmers, unions , and others who are found active players in the promotion of production, creation of market linkages and credit repayment in the past two years.
The factory also identified lack of adequate seeds, pesticides, financial capital of farmers, and malting factories as the bottlenecks that may pose constraints in the production of barley. The other chronic problem that may affect the production process is lack of adequate land. This could ultimately affect the beer industry.
The awarded farmers have been selected based on their dynamism in increasing production rate,fostering market linkage, utilizing communication technique and information usage effectively,among other commitments.
According to Head of the project, as per its long term plan Create targets to downsize and gradually STOP importing barley. Currently, the company that imports more than 75 per cent of the barely for brewing beer is set to fully cover its barely demand for local production by 2020. Although Heniken as a business company primary aspires to maximize profit , the company, along with different governmental and non governmental partners, is trying to exploit the huge potential of the area for producing barely by adopting improved technologies and knowledge. Experts of the nearby districts provide technical supports to farmers in the area of technology and production.
The objective of the award or recognition is part of the community service of encouraging other farmers to demonstrate similar commitment and exertions.
The farmers are supplied with improved seeds by Agricultural Research Institutions and Agriculture Transformation Agency. The project has outreached about 10, 000 farmers and is expected to benefit additional 10, 000 ahead.
If the aforementioned challenges are addressed, meeting its local demands the country could start exporting this decisive ingredient of breweries.
The awarded farmers also said through the technical supports they enjoy and market access they get they are seeing their volume of production increasing from time to time. And the recognition accorded will further encourage to put much effort to improve production thereby improving farmers' livelihood.
The project that is financed jointly by the Dutch Government and Heniken is being implemented by Eucord company.