Safety and quality of agricultural products in Ethiopia. Financial instruments for the development of a lasting partnership between Italy and the African Country. Promotion of the milling sector in the African Continent. These are the issues explored at the conference “Wheat, flour and… 2016” held last October in Addis Ababa and, at the same time, connected via satellite, in Cremona (Italy).
Focused on wheat and flour, the event was organized by the Italian communication company Avenue media, thanks also to a sponsorship from the Italian milling company Ocrim, which exports worldwide. The initiative was supported by the Embassy of Italy, by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics) and by the Italian Trade Agency (Ice).
Representatives of the Italian business world took part in a video conference from Cremona, exchanged views and experiences with their Ethiopian counterparts and authorities attending the event. These included Mebrahtu Meles, the Ethiopian Deputy Minister for Industry, Giuseppe Mistretta, the Italian Ambassador in Ethiopia and Ginevra Letizia, Director of Aics Addis Ababa.
The conference build on the results of the “Agricultural supply chains in Oromia” carried out by the Addis Ababa office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation that allowed farmers in the Oromia Region to increase their production from 500 ton (2011/12) to 50,000 (2015/16) (see also Professional Pasta n.1/2015).
A day of construction
So far, the dialogue with the African country has constantly improved, also thanks to many Italians and companies that have been focusing on Ethiopia, a country offering opportunities and work, over the last years.
“Opening to the world to know each other and build a better future” – This was the theme of the conference. At the Italian table, chaired by Alessandro Milan from Il Sole 24Ore, the President of Federalimentare, Luigi Scordamaglia, the Ceo of Ocrim, Alberto Antolini, the Ceo of Bonifiche Ferraresi, Federico Vecchioni, the Secretary-General of Coldiretti, Vincenzo Gesmundo. Businessmen from some of the most important Italian agrifood companies gathered for the event: from the fruit and vegetables sector Alberto Roncagli (potato chain), Anton Carra of Melinda (apple sector); Fiorella Lenzi of Marchesi Antinori and Remo Grassi, Ceo of Banfi (wine industry); Pompeo Farchioni, President of Farchioni Olii (olive oil), and Furio Bragagnolo, President of Pasta Zara.
In Addis Ababa, important representatives of the agriculture industry and experts focused on high quality, led by Alfredo Tesio from the Foreign Press Association in Rome and chaired by Matteo Pianca – Commercial Affairs Office of the Embassy of Italy – and Genene Gezu from Aics in Addis Ababa.