Ethiopia, the largest wheat consumer in sub-Saharan Africa .
Ethiopia, the largest wheat consumer in sub-Saharan Africa and the fastest-growing economy in the world, is the site for this year’s International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Mideast & Africa (MEA) District Conference and Expo.


Hundreds of flour and feed millers, equipment suppliers to those industries, and commodity traders from around the world will attend the 27th annual conference, set for Oct. 24-27 at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa.

Dr. Mebrahtu Meles, chairman of the conference, said Ethiopia is a perfect location for the event given its large milling sector and huge demand for wheat products. Ethiopia has more than 200 flour mills and grows a wide variety of crops such as wheat, teff, maize, soybeans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. Still, food scarcity remains an issue in the second most populous sub-Saharan African country, which is home to more than 100 million people.

“Agro-processing is among the most prioritized investment areas in which the country has comparative advantages in the area,” Meles said. “The Government of Ethiopia has put in place various incentive packages and supporting instruments, including the development of Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks (IAIPs). The IAIPs aim is to coordinate and integrate dispersed value chain components by clustering and creating linkages between farmers, processors and consumers. The IAIPs will be spread throughout the country and linked to each other through agro-industry growth corridors.”

He noted that Ethiopia is strategically located to serve the European and Asian markets.

“Being the second most populous country in Africa, it also offers a potentially growing domestic market,” he said.

The conference comes at a time when the Middle East is facing tremendous upheaval due to prolonged military conflict in several countries, which has led to millions of displaced citizens migrating to Europe and other parts of the world.

“Our region is facing challenging times that call for creative, practical and sustainable solutions to serve our association’s main goal of advancing education and training opportunities in the grain milling industries,” said Ali Habaj, IAOM MEA regional director.

He said two panel discussions will be among the highlights of the conference’s educational sessions.

One panel discussion, “Feeding the Fastest Growing Economies of East Africa,” will feature several of the region’s milling industry leaders and their success stories, and will be moderated by Martin Schlauri, managing director of Bühler’s African Milling School. Another panel discussion, “Regional Review: The Modern Middle East,” will focus on the consequences of privatization and subsidy reforms in United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. It will be moderated by grain industry consultant and World Grain correspondent David McKee.

Dan Basse, president and founder of AgResource Company, will join both panel discussions and also will moderate the trading sessions that will focus on market outlooks in various parts of the world. Speakers for the market outlook portion of the program include: Ian Flagg, U.S. Wheat Associates; Jean-Pierre Langlois-Berthelot, France Export Cereales; and Nick Poutney, GrainCorp Limited (Australia).

Other presentations on the education session agenda include: “Optimizing Wheat Mill Co-Product Value in Broiler and Layer Production,” Vaughn Studer, CEO, Engrain; “Wheat Logistics in East Africa: Ethiopia and Beyond,” Shujjat Alikhan, Marine & General Services; and “Baltic Sea Market Outlook,” Indrek Aigro, Copenhagen Merchants.

Evening functions

The conference will feature three evening social gatherings. A welcome reception, sponsored by Bühler, is from 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Sheraton Hotel Addis Ababa.

The annual traders’ cocktail dinner, sponsored by Glencore, Bunge, Invivo, Olam, Phoenix Commodities, Ameropa and Louis Dreyfus, is from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the Sheraton. The Gala Dinner, hosted by the Ethiopian Millers Association, is scheduled from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the TBC multipurpose hall.

Expo hours

This year’s expo, held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25, 26 and 27, will include 128 booths featuring suppliers of equipment and services to the flour and feed milling industries.

The Millennium Hall covers 19,000 square feet, including a 5,000-square-foot expo hall.

Attendees may schedule business-to-business meetings using an online appointment scheduler tool. They may view, print and e-mail an appointment calendar.

Free use of the business-to-business meetings lounge is also available.

For more conference and expo registration and other information, click here

||| IAOM Southeast Asia conference set for October, next page |||

IAOM Southeast Asia Conference set for October

Bangkok, Thailand will be the site of the 7th annual Southeast Asia (SEA) International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Conference and Expo, Oct. 9-11, at the International Bangkok Hotel.

The conference opens Sunday, Oct. 9 with a preconference workshop, exhibitor move-in and a welcome reception. The following two days will include technical sessions, educational sessions, a new product showcase and a table-top expo with around 40 exhibitors.

The educational sessions will include a look at the latest market conditions from grain suppliers and challenges facing millers in Southeast Asia, as well as IAOM’s efforts to support and aid the sector through training, cooperation and education.

Southeast Asia is a region where domestic flour milling capacity is growing, as is consumption of wheat-based foods. It is estimated that by 2020, per capita flour consumption in the region will grow to 64 pounds, up from 37 pounds in 2010.

About 200 millers from the Southeast Asian region are expected to attend the event. For registration information, go to www.iaom.info/southeastasia.