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The Ministry of Industry (MoI) announced the entrance of Allanasons, a company based in India, into the Ethiopian Meat Industry on January 1, 2014 at the Ministry’s office. It had facilitated the company’s journey up through witnessing the contract signing with ETG Design and Consultancy which will design the company’s factory and oversee its construction.
This move was prompted by the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Development Institute’s determination to obtain the GTP goal of acquiring USD one billion from the Meat Industry, which has been under performing for the last three years, according to Tadesse Guta, Director General of the Institute.
As per Dr. Mebratu Meles, State Minister of Industry, illegal smuggling of livestock from the country is one of the contributing factors of the less than satisfactory revenue from the meat industry. The other reasons he cited are the lack of infrastructure and up-to-date technology.
“We plan to get USD 250 million from the meat industry this year,” said the state minister. “We are exporting to Dubai and Jeddah. There are five exporting companies involved. We are getting good results but we still need to increase the products.”
Tadesse says that the institute put down USD one billion during the GTP with the expectation that five new abattoirs would enter the market in the first year of the GTP, bringing up the initial number to nine. But none of them finished construction or started work creating a further lag in the GTP.
“When Allanasons enters the market the meat it processes will help us to achieve our goal,” Tadesse continued.
Tadesse says Ethiopia’s meat export potential is largely untapped.
“Another problem we have is finding customers. We currently export our products only to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Soon Hong Kong will join our client base.”
Allanasons plans to have three factories in Ethiopia located in the Oromiya, Somali and Southern region, according to Aman Khan, Project Leader for Allanasons. He added that the company plans to invest USD 20 million in the first plant and start production by September, 2014. This will give the company a toehold in the East African market.
The company will produce 20,000kgs of beef and 50,000kgs of lamb and goat meat daily in the first phase, then gradually increase the amount it produces, according to Khan.
“We use 100pct of the animal,” Khan said. “Nothing is thrown away. We even use the sludge to produce biogas and the blood to make food for fish and poultry.”
Another problem associated with the lack of technology is the decrease of meat capacity and disease resistance in animals due to inbreeding, Tadesse said. He continued that the animals have to be raised for up to six years until they are ready for slaughter or procreation. In other countries it takes a maximum of two years. This is because the practice of ranching and selective breeding doesn’t exist in Ethiopia, Tadesse added.
“If we had more modern ranching methods, we could determine which breed of animal to use for each specific purpose,” Tadesse said. “Local farmers know their livestock well. You can maximize the capacity of the animals by combining the knowledge of the people raising the animals with modern scientific methods,” Tadesse added.
Before construction of the factory begins representatives from ETG Design and consultancy and the contractors will visit meat factories in Dubai and India.