In partnership with Agro Prom International, an Ethiopian food processor and exporter, ACDI/VOCA’s AGP-AMDe project officially inaugurated a new industrial chickpea processing and cleaning facility in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia on August 25, 2015.
Due to quality gaps, Ethiopian chickpea exports usually end up in lesser-value markets. The ability of this new facility’s machinery to clean chickpeas to above 99 percent purity and its capacity to clean five metric tons per hour enable Agro Prom to sell to the more demanding and higher-value American, European, and Middle Eastern markets.
“More and more people around the world are turning to chickpeas for a healthy and delicious source of fiber and protein,” according to USAID Mission Director Dennis Weller. “We firmly believe that facilities like this will provide more access to markets and help to put more money into the pockets of Ethiopian farmers.”
Agro Prom founder and CEO Elias Geneti acknowledges that “Quality is our biggest problem preventing us from entering the big markets. If we wanted to reach quality standards, we had to put up a quality machine. We now have that machine.” The processing machinery is the result of an innovation grants program designed by AGP-AMDe focused on improving the competitiveness of Ethiopia’s chickpea sector. Agro Prom purchased the equipment, with USAID funding support.
Mission Director Weller adds that “the link between farmer and processor is at the heart of the Feed the Future initiative. A processing facility is the first step in adding value, and these actions all add money in the pocket of chickpea farmers.”