Local farmers welcome Angonia grain processing facility
Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) – On the eve of the official opening of the new grain processing factory in the town of Ulongue, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, farmers have expressed satisfaction at the price offered to them for their maize.
The Mozambican state has invested 6.8 million US dollars in building the factory, which will be able to mill a hundred tonnes of grain per day.
The state owns 90 per cent of the shares in the Ulongue factory, which is in Angonia district. 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.
The factory has already begun buying maize at a price of six meticais a kilo, which is an improvement on the four meticais offered by independent buyers.
According to the town’s mayor, Armando Julio, “our district has great potential for agricultural production. Maize production has normally been sold for four meticais per kilo, but the grain processing factory has brought in a new price structure.
The mayor pointed out that the factory will also process wheat, soya, beans and groundnuts.
In a recent interview with the newspaper “Diario de Mocambique”, the provincial director of agriculture, Americo de Conceicao, said “the district of Angonia is a large producer of grains, which were processed outside the province in Manica province or in Malawi. The factory will add value because it will cut out the transport costs of a 1,400 kilometre round trip”.
A local farmer, Antonio Bernardo, expressed his satisfaction at “the good government initiative”, stating “I have two and a half hectares. I mainly grow maize and when I need money I sell part of my harvest. But it is the buyers who determine the price, although it is the peasants who suffer day and night with hoe in hand”.
There are signs that the factory will stimulate more production. Fatima Eliseu said “it is good news for local farmers. With the new price, I think that next year I will increase the area under cultivation”.
The factory will need to encourage production, not only in Angonia but in in other districts in the province, so that it does not run out of raw materials.
The daily output of 100 tonnes of maize will produce 86 tonnes of flour and 14 tonnes of bran.
The production of animal feed will also reduce the dependence of Tete livestock farmers on imported feed. (AIM)
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