Investment Agency Head Diverts to Investment


The owner of the company has invested five million Birr to set up a honey processing plant




The former head of Adiss Abeba Investment Agency, Kidanemariam Berhe, has invested five million Birr to set up a honey processing plant in Tigray Regional State.

Sitting on a 1,000sqm plot of land, the new plant will be located in Hintalol Jirat wereda, 60Km from Mekelle city in Tigray. Kidanemariam invested 3.5 million Br to construct the apiculture and 1.5 million Br for the honey processing machine, imported from China with duty-free privilege. The machine, which can adjust the test and colour of the honey, is expected to arrive in the country within a month, according to Kidanemariam.

After being fully operational, the machine will filter and process up to 1,000kg of honey a day. The new plant is expected to open up job opportunities for 12 individuals, including an agricultural expert, a chemist and an accountant.

The company will produce white honey, red honey and the mix of the two to be sold from 320-400 Br per kilogram. The company, which plans to harvest three times a year, hopes to export 80pc of its products.

After a year the company will engage in  producing a candle from unpurified bee wax, according to Kidanemariam, whose educational background is in agricultural studies.

To catch the swarm of bees, Kidanemaraim created a nectar farm and pollen reach flowers. The flowers include Suha, Qarami, Tebi and Girbiya, according to him.

“In addition, we will also buy honey from local honey retailers,” Kidanemariam said.

Agriculture is one of the priority investment areas that get incentives from the regional state government, according to Layikun Brihanu, director of Investment Facilitation at Tigray Investment Bureau.

“We give the investors land, finance and tax holiday schemes,” Layikun told Fortune.

Although the country is known to be one of the top 10 countries for bee resources, it does not reap the benefits. Out of the 50,000tn of honey produced a year, it exports only 800tn of it.

The government should give more emphasis to providing training for professionals in the sector, according to Gemechis Legesse, head of Apiculture Technology Generation Processor at Holeta Bee Research Center.

“The government has to provide the small scale farmers with material supports such costumes for bee farms,” Gemechis said.

Currently, there are three kinds of beehives that farmers use: traditional, transitional and modern beehives with potential production yields of 10kg, 40kg and 60kg, respectively. However, the current actual production yield of beehives in Ethiopia does not exceed five kilograms, 15kg, and 20kg in the respective three categories.

Recognising the gaps, four months ago, the government drafted a new legal framework to administer and regulate honey production and its value chain all the way from the farm to export destinations.



By MADEBO GIRMA
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 28,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 952]


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