NAIROBI, KENYA — Aspiring millers in Sub-Sahara Africa will soon have a completely virtual option for improving their knowledge and use of best practices in the milling industry.

Three companies, Germany’s DEG – Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, Switzerland’s Bühler, and enterprise resource planning systems provider eProd Solutions Ltd. of Kenya, have agreed to launch a virtual training program for improved milling technology and supply chain management in agriculture.

The project will be implemented through develoPPP, a funding program for sustainable company initiatives of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). DEG, the private sector arm of the state-owned KFW group, is the financial partner and will contribute 50% of the total costs of the project, with the other 50% being privately contributed, the companies said. The agreement was signed on Oct. 28.

Bühler and eProd partnered to initiate the training program and apply for support from DEG. A letter of support to DEG was provided by the Cereal Millers Association of Kenya, which will be one of the beneficiaries of the program and a contributor to content development.

The selection of the first 35 millers from the Cereal Millers in Nairobi, Kenya, is underway until Jan. 31 and will be followed by the kick-off of the pilot course until March 31. The course will be streamed from the African Milling School in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The course is made up of 14 modules, eight from eProd and six by Bühler. The program is 100% virtual and will be done in a webinar format. Each learner will then also get access to the online e-learning platform currently under development.

The programs’ partners said the initial goal is for 250 millers to be trained in basic milling technology and supply chain management. The supply chain mentoring program will involve at least 125 Sub-Saharan African milling companies.

“This project offers us a unique opportunity to craft a customized and highly efficient solution to bring to the millers to enable them to increase the quality of produce and reduce processing losses to strengthen the agri-food supply chain in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Matthias Grabe, managing director, Bühler East Africa.