ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (ENA)―New investment and expansion in Ethiopia’s beverage industry is helping immensely in the rapid growth of the sector, according to Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Development Institute.

Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and stimulants are among the beverage industry sub-sectors experiencing rapid growth, Beverage Processing Industry Development Director at the institute, Aklilu Kafyalew told ENA.

“Currently, there is big increase in beverage industry in different sub-sectors. Almost all are growing in similar way,” Aklilu said.

The director said the country has created an enabling environment for beverage industry as the demand is high in the market.

The existing sugar projects under construction in different parts of the country and the availability of barley malt is believed to be a pulling factor for the expansion of the sector.

Aklilu said, “there is big opportunity in beverage industry sector, despite some problems that need to be addressed in the country.”

Some 1.6 million USD has been obtained in the first quarter of the year in revenues from beverage industry sector which has shown slight decrease compared to the previous same period which was 1.9 million USD.

Last October saw better performance in the sector as compared against same period the previous year; Aklilu said, adding the sector is expected to show big performance in the coming two months.

“I think there is good opportunity in terms of market and smart companies are eyeing on Ethiopia in this sector”, Ethiopian Investment Commission Commissioner Fitsum Arega indicated.

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The commissioner added that joint venture investments by some Belgians, France, Dutch and British investors in the beverage industry are impending particularly in the production of beer.

It was indicated that some projects assisted by brewery factories such as Heineken, Diageo and Dashen are ongoing with a view to increase sourcing of barley, Fitsum said.

Some seven brewery companies with 12 factories are currently producing beverages in the country, with additional two giant European malt processing companies signing agreement to engage in the field.

Shortage of malt is one of the problems impeding further growth in the sector which needs to be solved in a sustainable manner, according to Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Development Institute.

The current demand for malt in brewery factories has hit two million quintals per year, forcing the country to spend a lot foreign currency to import malt.

Source: ENA
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