The Allana Group, the 44-year-old Indian-based largest food processor, in the capital since January this year, is to establish a meat processing factory and is currently importing machineries, The Reporter has learnt. Aman R. Khan, head of the company, told The Reporter that Allana has managed to bring in machineries required for the new factory to be erected in Ziway town, some 160 km south-east of the capital.
Khan said that slaughtering machineries, refrigerators, temperature controlling systems and machines that work to measure environmental friendliness of activities are among the various equipment in the list to come.
The head of Allana says that it is difficult to tell how much of the entire job has been done so far. The company has, however, secured 72 hectares of land for the first phase of operations. The other progressing job according to Khan is the design of the factory, for which ETG - a local architects and engineers firm has been awarded to undertake the job. A team of architects visited India to learn about and explore the best slaughtering plants the latter has.
With USD 20 million total investment ventures, Allana is looking to recruit some 600 permanent employees. However, Khan and his team have certain doubts about the capacity of these workers. Moreover, lack of coordination among the public offices is one of the challenges the company has tabled for consideration. Khan hopes that the 'integrated meat processing plant' will start production by September 2014, aiming to slaughter around 200 cattle and 5000 sheep/goats a day. Initially the plant expects to produce 75 tons of meat daily.
Allana Group, known as Allana Sons in India, exports frozen halal buffalo meat, coffee, fruit and other commodities from India to some 70 countries. It was established in 1865 and has come to Ethiopia with its own capital and market know-how.
The Ministry of Industry (MoI) has budgeted some USD 250 million for export earnings in the 2006 Ethiopian fiscal year. Yet its task is not being met with only five slaughterhouses targeting exports. The meat-processing sector of Ethiopia is the most untapped but also the most treacherous, with perennial issues, including illegal smuggling to foreign countries and supply side constraints.
The arrival of Allana is hoped to add more value to the Ethiopian economy, following the existing USD five billion investments by Indian companies.