VCT visited SAMANU Articraft factory in Dukem, Ethiopia

VCT Global team visit to Ethiopia

We met with important stakeholders and discussed the priority issues for the VCT program intervention starting in 2024. During the discussion with major off-takers and SMEs, it was discovered that there is a huge potential for value chain transformation. However, some challenges, such as security problems, lack of necessary agricultural inputs and technologies, and lack of access to hard currency, have been hindering the country from benefiting from this opportunity.

Report of the daily activities

On the first day, the team from Ethiopia conducted several activities for the project. These included updating the project progress and reviewing and enhancing the project design and implementation. The team also discussed the implementation modalities, which included defining the roles of various stakeholders, such as companies and off-takers. They initiated inclusive business analytics and defined production areas and value chains. In addition, the team identified new off-takers and SMEs and developed draft terms of reference for the assessment and diagnostics of production landscapes. They also discussed the recruitment plan and job profiles, convening modalities and alignment, management and governance, and program communication strategy.

The 2nd day was a crucial day spent with off-takers and SMEs, including visiting factories, starting with the SAMANU Articraft factory in Dukem.

The factory began operation in April 2021 and was built with a $30 million investment from 54 FMCG. It has enabled the company to triple its production capacity in the short term and plans to increase refining capacity by almost 200% by 2023. The factory produces high-grade sunflower and other edible oils, creating employment opportunities for over 250 families.

The Articraft factory has a production capacity of 100 tons, and can crush soy or sunflower seeds to produce edible oil and animal feed. Also, the factory is known for its Tena oil, which is produced from sunflowers, but it also processes other seeds such as canola, sesame, and Niger seeds. The commitment and readiness of companies like SAMANU to unlock the potential of Ethiopia’s oilseed production is encouraging. This will provide market opportunities for smallholder farmers and contribute to income increase and contribute to food security.

This aligns with our objective of transforming the food system and with the Ethiopian government’s commitment to support this with oilseeds strategy policy.