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    5 January, 2012
Prime Minister visits grain factory
Maputo, 5 Jan (AIM) –Prime Minister Aires Ali on 4 January visited a new grain processing factory in the town of Ulongue, in the western province of Tete, which is due to start production in February.

The Mozambican state has invested $6.8 million in building this plant, but its management will be handed over to a private business, selected through a tender.

The factory will be able to mill 100 tonnes of grain a day. According to a report in the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, each 100 tonnes of maize will produce 86 tonnes of flour and 14 tonnes of bran. Ali said that this ready market for their grain should be a stimulus to greater production by farmers on the fertile Angonia plateau, and beyond.

With this factory available, and prepared to buy up all that the farmers produce, they may no longer feel it necessary to sell their surplus grain over the border, in neighbouring Malawi.

“It won’t be just Angonia district that is called upon to provide the raw materials for this factory”, said the Prime Minister. “It’s a factory that will consume maize from other districts in Tete province – which means that the managers must encourage grain production so that the factory does not run out of its main raw material”.

The factory is also expected to produce three to five tonnes a day of various animal feed. This will reduce the dependence of Tete livestock farmers on imported feed.

This grain processing plant is the first of three planned for central Mozambique. The others will be built in Guro district, Manica province, and in Namacurra, in Zambezia province.

The state owns 90 per cent of the shares in the Ulongue factory. The other ten per cent are divided equally between the National Social Security Institute (INSS), the state insurance company EMOSE, and the publicly owned electricity and telecommunications companies, EDM and TDM.

When fully operational, the factory is expected to employ between 40 and 50 full time workers.

Tete province, Ali stressed, should not be known solely because of its vast coal deposits, “There are large areas of this province with excellent conditions for agriculture, where crops associated with temperate climates can be grown”, he said. “What is needed is to encourage this agriculture, because currently we see that the potential is underused”.

“The starting point is to encourage and support the producers, so that they produce more and better”, he continued. “We should not be thinking only of the domestic market, since there is a lot of demand from foreign markets. But for this, we have to fight for good quality products”.
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