ETHIOPIA – Khelif Milk Processing Industry (KMPI), a dairy processor in Ethiopia has invested Br 70 million (US$1.6m), in the establishment of a camel processing plant.

The facility which is set to soon commence operations, has a processing capacity of 16,000 litres a day but the company will begin its production with 10,000 litres.

According to reports by Addis Fortune, KMPI financed half of the project with the acquisition of a loan from the state-owned, Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE).

The company is currently installing machinery and equipment at the plant which is located in the Somali Regional State, East of Ethiopia.

Leveraging its proximity to neighbouring countries Somalia and Djibouti, where demand for camel milk is high, KMPI eyes the export market.

KMPI is not limited to camel milk processing, as they plan to bottle pasteurized cow milk and yoghurt, and process cheese and butter.

KMPI’s new factory has a processing capacity of 16,000 litres per day

The company recently bought a Br 6 million (US$141,000) ultra-heat-treatment (UHT) machine, to produce milk with a longer shelf life.

To ensure sustainable supply of raw materials, the company is looking to establish a dairy farm with high milk-producing cattle and camel breeds, according to Yoseph Legesse (PhD), manager of the new plant.

Ethiopia produces about 4.2 million cubic metres of milk annually, out of which 80pc is cow milk, and the rest comes from camels and goats.

Berwako Milk Processing Plc was the pioneer of camel milk processing in the country, established by business man Amir Mukhtar, following an investment of Br 18 million (US$423,000).

However, the company suspended operations since last year after facing challenges stemming from the nomadic lifestyle of its milk suppliers, who would regularly leave the area in search of pasture for their herd.

Ethiopia’s dairy sector has recently been witnessing a rise in investment with Lame Dairy, subsidiary of Midroc Ethiopia Technology Group opening a new dairy facility in Addis Ababa, constructed at a cost of Br 600 million (US$14.5m).

The new factory more than doubles the dairy processors capacity from 70,000 litres of milk a day to 160,000 litres, and will produce the long-life Shola Milk brand that can stay fresh for three weeks under refrigeration.

Another leading player in Ethiopia’s dairy market, MB Plc has also installed an automatic UHT milk processing plant in Addis Ababa.

The new plant having a processing capacity of 40,000 litres per day, enables the dairy processor to produce long-life milk with up to six months shelf life.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE