Seven D Food Factory, a private limited company, opens a probiotic yoghurt processing plant at the cost of 30 million Br. It will start pilot production in the coming week.
This will make the company a pioneer in producing probiotic yoghurt in the country. It boosts the immune system, prevents urinary infections, improves digestive functions and fights foodborne diseases, according to Dr Axe, a website which provides data on various diseases.
The company will process the yoghurt in four flavours: strawberry, vanilla, mango and a mix of orange and pineapple in 300ml packs.
Located in Lebu industrial area, near Haile Garment, the plant lies on 3,000sqm of land. The company spent 12 million Br to construct the processing plant and 18 million Br to install machines.
The machines are semi-automatic and free from mechanical intervention, and the process of stabilising the contents of protein and other nutrients in the milk is also automated, according to Gebreselassie Mamo, manager of the plant.
Antel General Constructor completed the construction in three years. Established 12 years ago, Antel is involved in the construction of residential apartments and commercial buildings.
The company will source milk from 10 farmers living in Bishoftu, 59.6Km from Addis Abeba, although it has a plan to breed cows.
"We are negotiating to lease land from the city administration to develop a farm for cow breeding," said Gebreselassie.
Besides yoghurt, the factory will start processing dairy products including bottled milk, cheese, butter, and cream after three months.
Founded by two individuals, Seven D has the capacity of processing 1,000lts of yoghurt a day. This is expected to grow by five folds once the company starts working in full capacity. The owners have done a market assessment for years before opening the business.
"We have decided to open the company after realising there is a supply gap in the dairy market," said Gebreselassie. "It is good news for people who are suffering from different illnesses mainly related with indigestion."
The company has already got a license from Food, Medicine & Health Care Administration & Authority (FMHACA) to start production, according to the manager.
Currently, there are 40 dairy factories in the country, processing 250,000 litres of milk a day- five percent of the total milk production of the country.
Tariku Teka, director for dairy resources development at the Ministry of Livestock & Fishery (MoLF), believes the opening of such factories will have a contribution to save foreign exchange for the country.
"More than 15 million dollars is spent to import milk annually, which shows the country is in need of more dairy processing factories," he said. "There is an untapped local market."
Ethiopia is home to the largest livestock population in Africa, having 50 million cattle, 50 million goats, and sheep. The country has 7.1 million cows that produce 3.1 billion litres of milk annually.
Nevertheless, the consumption of milk in Ethiopia is significantly lower than many countries. The country's annual milk consumption is around 19lts per person- nearly half of the average milk consumption of Africa.