Buhler joins forces with eProd, DEG to offer virtual training program to African millers

KENYA – Nearly seven years after opening the first grain milling training center in the Middle East and Africa region, Buhler has partnered with eProd Solution Limited and DEG to launch a virtual training program.

This comprehensive online course will be streamed from the African Milling School in Nairobi, Kenya, offering sustainable trainings in basic milling technology and supply chain management.

DEG, the private sector arm of the German government owned KFW group, is the financial partner of the project and will contribute 50% of the total costs of the project, the other 50% is being privately contributed.

According to the Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer, DEG’s participation is within the framworks of develoPPP, a funding program for sustainable company initiatives of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“For us it is extremely vital to contribute towards vocational training projects as they help to strengthen the private sector and economic growth in Kenya and the East African region.

“We hope that based on our well-established relationship with Bühler Group we will cooperate further, e.g. in financially assisting future expansions,” says Antje Steiner, Director Regional Office East Africa KfW DEG.

Meanwhile, eProd will play a leading role in initiating the 14-module course program as it will deliver eight modules and Bühler will deliver the remaining six modules.

Other than offering training sessions, the program will avail tests and certify participants upon completion of the program.

The first 35 trainees will be from the Cereal Millers Association in Nairobi, Kenya who will kick-off of the pilot course in March 31, 2022.

“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.

Training program to offer sustainable solutions

The program envisaged to eventually train 250 millers, will be of benefit to the budding millers entering the market.

Buhler has highlighted that the milling industry landscape in Sub-Sahara Africa has changed a lot in recent years with many new, relatively small millers.

“They work with minimum investments and low-end technology equipment from cheap suppliers. These millers typically tend not to invest in staff training, resulting in unsafe working circumstances, lack of maintenance and unsafe food products,” highlights Buhler.

Offering sustainable solutions, the course will offer training in procurement of the right raw materials, tailored production advises, traceability in the supply chain, among others.

“If companies want to address these quality concerns it is important to start with the supply chain and apply a holistic approach.

“It starts with knowing the farmers, provide them with the right seed varieties and tailored production advise, traceability in the supply chain. This can be achieved in an economic way with supply chain digitalization,” said Jan Willem van Casteren, CEO of eProd Solutions Ltd.

Successful completion of the program will enable the setting up of specific measurables in undertaking an optimum milling operation in terms of quantification, i.e., energy reduction and CO² emissions.

Other than the opening of the African Milling School in 2015, Buhler, opened an ultra-modern agro-industrial training & innovation center in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 2020. 

Christened the Buhler Cocoa Competence Center (CFIA), the facility becomes the first and only cocoa competence centre in Africa, dedicated to offering theoretical and practical training and R&D service for recipe development and process optimization.

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