February 02, 2017

03/02/2017: The strong need for the milling industry in sub-Saharian Africa to advance

by Clifford Spencer

We will soon be settling down to the rigours of the approaching UK winter whilst tucking into tasty bread, pasta, puddings, cakes, biscuits and other various nutritious and filling treats - all part of the fantastic range of foods based on the most advanced milling technology that western nations enjoy
Clifford Spencer

The Christmas period will certainly provide a contrast to the Milling4Life team’s recent trip to Ethiopia and our learning of the food system there.

In particular the demonstrated strong need for the milling industry in sub-Saharan Africa to advance at a rapid rate of knots so that Ethiopia and other sub-Saharan countries can enjoy the benefit of balanced and nutritious milling products.

When we arrived at Addis Ababa airport we were greeted by pictures of a minute ochre-red seed and a billboard with the words: "Teff: the ultimate gluten-free crop!" Ethiopia is indeed the native home of Teff, a highly nutritious ancient grain increasingly finding its way into health-food shops and supermarkets in Europe and America.

We ate Teff with traditional meals during our stay and I understand little has changed in its field production over recent decades as the grain is little used outside of Africa.

Its tiny seeds – the size of poppy seeds – are high in calcium, iron and protein, and boast an impressive set of amino acids. Naturally gluten-free, the grain can substitute for wheat flour in anything from bread and pasta to waffles and pizza bases.

In particular the benefits of the latest milling technology are yet to be provided in all its various glories to leading indigenous African crops such as Teff, Millett and Sorghum.

Of course crops like Maize and Rice grown on the African continent can and do benefit from milling technology developed in other areas of the world that grow these crops and which can then be provided for Africa.

However there are good agricultural reasons for the growing of various African indigenous grains and I will start to examine this situation and these crops and their milling potential and their needed milling developments in more detail a series of articles starting in the January issue of Milling & Grain.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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