Tiret Corporate, an endowment fund affiliated with the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), is investing 47 million Br to build a dairy processing plant in Amhara Regional State.

Tiret Corporate, an endowment fund affiliated with the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), is investing 47 million Br to build a dairy processing plant in Amhara Regional State.

TZA Dairy Production & Processing S.C, which will rest on 133ha of land in Tulefa town of Hagere Maryamena Kesem wereda of North Shoa zone, is designated for both dairy cattle rearing and for the establishment of a processing plant. The company has already floated a turnkey-project tender to design, construct, supply and commission a pasteurised milk processing plant.

The plant, which will have a capacity of processing 20,000ltr of pasteurised milk a day, will operate with 75 permanent employees. The plant is expected to be operational in a year, according to Esayas Zerayakob (PhD), project manager of TZA Dairy, which has already started rearing 100 cattle and has hired over 35 employees.

TZA Dairy is one of 18 companies engaged in manufacturing, service, construction and agro-processing industries operating under the umbrella of Tiret Corporate. The corporation has two wings, Tiret Social Development and Tiret Investment.

Established with capital of 26 million Br seeded by the former Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (EPDM), renamed ANDM recently, the company's current capitalization has reached more than 9.8 billion Br and now operates with more than 11,500 employees. Tiret's former board chairperson Bereket Simon and its former CEO, Tadesse Kassa, were arrested two weeks on suspicion of high corruption during their tenure at the company.

Tiret Corporate plans to collect 90pc of the raw milk from local farmers and cooperative unions in the area while also working on establishing its own dairy farm to supply raw milk to its processing plant.

"We are working to build our own herd by using superior sires," Esayas told Fortune.

TZA Dairy also plans to co-invest with local farmers and solve the value chain obstacles that are currently the bottleneck of the dairy industry, according to Esayas.

For the tender that was announced two months ago, 27 companies have shown interest in purchasing the bid document and submitting their technical and financial documents. The company is currently evaluating the technical documents of the bidding companies.

The area is suitable for agro-processing, especially for dairy farms, according to Yohannes Shiferaw, investment expansion head at Debre Berhan Investment Bureau, which encourages and incentivises companies investing in the area.

"We will facilitate different opportunities for investors, such as duty-free machinery imports for companies that engage in agro-processing," said Yohannes.

An expert in the field, Fikadu Geremew, believes that opening the new plant could be good for the dairy industry, stating that the country has not been reaping the fruit of its potential and resource in livestock.

The industry has not been getting sufficient attention from the government; lack of awareness and research in the sector; inadequate and antiquated temperature control systems; and sub-standard pasteurisation equipment are significant factors in the country failing to meet its full potential, according to Fikadu, a lecturer at Semera University, a doctoral degree candidate and a researcher on the dairy industry.

"Milk processing practices in our country follow traditional methods that are more dependent on a pastoralist lifestyle," he noted.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 02,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 979]

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