Alvima Import, Export & Manufacturing plc has opened a new food processing plant which produces flour and pasta in Adama, 99km South West of Addis Abeba, with an overall investment of half a billion Birr.
Upon reaching its full production capacity, the company is expected to produce up to 66tns of pasta a day. And it plans to source wheat directly from 1,000 small-scale farmers organised under unions and cooperatives.
The company has made agreements with Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources (MoANR) to facilitate and conclude the deals with unions and cooperatives including Agarsa Farmers Union.
Before the official inauguration of the plant, the company selected potential production areas and chose farmers' unions and cooperatives with ATA and MoANR.
Alvima imported machinery from a German Company named Buhler Group. The company also commissioned the machines and is providing training for the workers of the company with a total cost of 200 million Br.
Kewser Construction Plc, a grade four construction company, constructed the plant which will lie on an 11,000sqm of land in one and a half years time.
Alvima has been importer and distributor of Mewal Pasta for the past 10 years. When it starts full production, it will have 120 permanent and temporary employees.
Currently, it is on trial production with the aim of being fully operational by the end of September 2017, according to Meron Liku, head of communications and marketing of the company.
Adama was chosen as the ideal location for the plant owing to its proximity to the source of raw materials, according to Meron.
Alvima is part of the Djibouti based Mewal Group that was established 58 years ago.
"Investment opportunities and the registration process attracted us to invest in Ethiopia," Dirieh Ali, chief executive officer of Alvima told Fortune.
The company plans to export the product once local demand is met, according to Meron.
As of December 2014, there were 20 companies processing pasta in Ethiopia. Kality Foods S.C and Dire Dawa Food Complex were the biggest ones. The former is located in Addis Abeba and has a production capacity of 24tns of pasta an hour whereas the latter is located in Dire Dawa and produces about 40tns an hour.
In March 2013, the two companies bought 20,000qls of durum wheat worth 19 million Br from seven farmers' cooperatives in Oromia Regional State including Agarsa Farmers Union.