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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated the largest baking factory in the country, in the southern city of Matola, which can make about 1.8 million loaves and rolls of varying sizes per day.
This enormous bakery, called “Espiga d’Ouro”, with four production lines, results from an investment of about 50 million dollars, and will produce bread essentially for the Maputo and Matola markets.
It is owned by the Mozambican Premier Group and by the French company Mecatherm, which each hold 50 per cent of the venture. Mecatherm is a company that produces ovens and other equipment for industrial bakeries, and claims to be the world’s leading manufacturer of such equipment.
According to the Mecatherm website, it has 500 automatic production lines installed in 40 countries, producing 20,000 tonnes of bakery products every day.
Espiga d’Ouro expects to create 1,200 direct and indirect jobs, in the entire chain of production, distribution and marketing. It is banking on hiring and training young workers, and says 70 per cent of them will be men and 30 per cent women.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nyusi hoped that this mega-bakery will produce not only large amounts of bread, but good quality bread, and will help stabilize the price of bread.
He said it was an opportunity for Mozambican business people to invest in growing and milling wheat, since Espiga d’Ouro presents a guaranteed market. Currently most of the wheat consumed in Mozambique is imported, although several parts of the country possess appropriate agro-ecological conditions for growing wheat.
Espiga d’Ouro requires 200 tonnes of wheat a day, and Nyusi thought this should encourage local businessmen to invest in wheat production.
He did not believe that Espiga d’Ouro would drive smaller bakeries out of business, but it did offer “another choice” to consumers. Nyusi was sure “there will continue to be space and opportunity for everyone to work in the baking industry”.
But bakeries, including Espiga d’Ouro, would have to show courtesy to their clients and observe decent conditions of hygiene and safety at work. That was the key to success, declared Nyusi.
Since this claims to be the largest and most modern bakery, not only in Mozambique, but in all of Africa, the expectation, said the President, was that Espiga d’Ouro will be a reference point for best practices in the national baking industry.
Although inaugurated on Thursday, Espiga d’Ouro will not start distributing its product on a large scale until October.Source: AIM