ETHIOPIA – The A.S.S.E.S. Industry Plc, an Ethiopian conglomerate, has invested US$1.64 million in establishing a modern wheat flour processing plant in Amhara Regional state, Ethiopia.

Established on a 1,254 Square metre land, the new plant has a processing capacity of producing 82000 kilogrammes of wheat flour per day.

According to Sema Melaku, assistant factory manager, the strategic investment in the region was majorly influenced by the high wheat production capacity recorded in Amhara Regional State.

Melaku also unveiled that the plant is set to expand its operation into animal feed and macaroni production in the near foreseeable future.

“We are planning to expand our investment to animal feed and macaroni production in the coming year,” Sema noted.

A report by Addis Fortune reveals that Amhara is second largest wheat producer in the country accounting for 32.7% of the 4.6 million tonnes harvested during the last fiscal year.

Oromia is the leading wheat producing region contributing 53% of the country’s harvest.

The factory enjoins 110 registered wheat flour milling companies in the country with a majority located in the country’s capital supplying flour to 4461 certified biscuit, cake and bread makers operating locally.

The plant has also been certified by the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise as a requirement for food and beverage processing firms in the country.

Ethiopia is among the top three wheat producers in Africa, with wheat accounting for 20% of the nation’s total cereal production.

More than 90% of Ethiopia’s wheat production is grown on small farms, most of which are in the highlands.

The agricultural sector contributes 34% of the country’s gross domestic product and employs over two-thirds of the workforce, where 72% are engaged in crop production.

The country imports about 1.7 million tonnes of wheat as demand for wheat and wheat products such as pasta continues to put pressure on the local durum wheat supply.

However, the Ethiopian government has unveiled plans of ensuring the country become wheat self-sufficient over the next four years to cut its increasing reliance on imports from volatile global markets.

Among other interventions, government has rolled out a US$5.98 million agricultural mechanisation project set to take effect across major grain producing regions in the country.