In Ethiopia, the entire Wheat Sector has undergone a major transformation to provide the population with more and better food products. At the same time, exciting business opportunities are emerging both in field production and agro-processing.«The government has been making efforts to develop agriculture and agro-processing, which is the key to the economic and social development of the country», Mr. Mebrahtu Meles, Minister of Industry said, opening the International Conference “Wheat, Flour & Pasta” in Addis Ababa, December 6.
The Conference – jointly organized by the Embassy of Italy in Addis Ababa, the Ethio-Italian Cooperation, the Overseas Agronomic Institute (IAO), Oromia Regional State and the congress company Avenue media – was followed by a Pasta Event, December 7.
In the wake of the successful agronomic project (“Filiere agricole in Oromia” that brought the durum wheat production from 500 tons in 2012 to 15,000 today), the Pasta Event lasted two days. On the first day, “Wheat, Flour & Pasta”, focused on conferences and exhibitions, allowed the operators to highlight the commercial aspect of the wheat-pasta supply chain; whereas on the second day “Pasta Event” celebrated the Queen of the Italian cuisine with tastings and show cooking.
«We wanted to gather together Ethiopian farmers and industries, as well as Italian manufacturers of machineries and technologies related to this sector», explains the Italian Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Giuseppe Mistretta.
«This has been a sort of “pilot exhibition” – explains the Ambassador – and it can be a significant example and model of interaction between cooperation and development, promotion of the local private sector, development of trade agreements between Ethiopian and Italian companies and public-private partnership». The Ambassador adds: «Since we have had significant confirmations so far, this event will probably be repeated and extended over the next years».
«Today bilateral relations between Italy and Ethiopia are excellent – underlines Matteo Pianca, head of the Trade Office at the Italian Embassy in Addis Ababa – The Pasta Event was so successful that our Embassy is encouraged to pursue its mission by promoting contacts, supporting people, creating jobs and spreading technologies and know-how». In this perspective, «we will totally support and promote a second edition of this event that will have the same objective».
The event was organized thanks to hard teamwork between Italy and Ethiopia where the organization was supported by local and Italian representatives.
«The message that we have tried to convey – explains Claudio Vercellone, Ceo of Avenue media – is that Italy can bring its culture to benefit the constant, strong and progressive agro-industrial and economic growth of another country. A growth that is based on the quality of crops, excellent processing methods and machines as well as a diet that is able to offer health and wellbeing to those citizens who want and can enjoy it».
«We wanted to create an event with local representatives for local people – explains Vercellone – Therefore this event respects their culture and their economy. We have proposed possible solutions, as bearers of experience, technologies and machineries. And we made way for the local main actors».
Special Grain & Pasta for Ethiopia