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Commercial starch

1.         Product Description: Starch is a basic need for people and it is also an input for many types of industries. Starch is mostly used or consumed in its natural form, but it is also converted to other forms. Glucose, for example, is one of the varieties of products which is prepared from starch. Glues of different kinds can also be made from starch which is used as adhesives in many industries such as paper printing. Commercial starch is mostly prepared from corn and potatoes. In industry, starch is used as sizing, finishing, binding, and diluting agent, adhesive and water absorber in the textile, paper, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic and confectionery industries. Glucose and syrups are the major derivatives of starch with high commercial value.

 

2.         Rationale: While the raw materials for making starch are adequately available at home, the country has been importing starch and associated products from abroad by spending badly needed foreign exchange resources. As many other economic phenomena this is also another animally which defies explanations. Next to the food and beverages sectors, textile is the largest industrial sector in the country. And this industry consumes a large amount of starch which is imported. So do the paper and printing industries. Even the two big textile mills in the Amhara Region Consume a substantial quantity of starch. With the current dietary habits of the population, household consumption of starch is small when seen against the total population. However, with increasing urbanization and industrialization the demand for starch will grow and this will necessitate the establishment of a commercial starch producing Plant. The Amhara Region, being one of the largest corn and potatoes growing regions in the country, is a good candidate for having a starch production plant.

 

3.         Potential Market: In 1990, consumption of starch was estimated to be about 2000 tons; and demand for 2005/06 was projected to be 7000 tons which is an increase of 3.5 times. Since there is no commercial starch producing plant, all this demand is being met imports. The current demand for starch definitely justifies the establishment of a plant which will at least meet part of the starch requirement of the country.

 

4.         Source of raw material: Maize or potatoes are the main raw materials for producing starch and these will be obtained from local sources.

 

5.     Process and Technology:- The simplified production process is as follows. Steeping:- this is to soften the kernels so that subsequent milling operations and separations can be carried out efficiently. Determination:- oil rich germ is separated from starch, gluten, hulls and fiber. Then the corn is ground in attrition mills. When the material leaves the mill, it becomes a mixture of water, starch, gluten, germs and hulls. It is further fed to mills which grind the material to very small particle sizes. After removing the hulls and fiber particles by passing it on a set of querulous, the starch and gluten are allowed to separate using gravitational methods. Separation of starch from gluten:- using this process heavy starch is deposited on the bottom and the gluten is removed at the top of the lower end of the tables especially designed and manufactured for this purpose. Major plant and machinery needed include steeping tanks; mills screen bends, hydro cyclones, centrifugal machines and dryers.

 

6.         Estimated Investment: For a plant which can produce 5000 tons of commercial starch, estimated investment will be:

·         Buildings 800 m2 at Birr  3000/ m2            =   2,400,000

·         Plant and machinery            ……………………..  =  14,600,000

·         Working capital …………………..……… =     3,00.000

   Total ……..  =   17,300,000

 

7.     Benefits: Promotes self sufficiency in a critical industrial product, saves foreign exchange and regional financial resources, stimulates the production of corn and potato crops, contributes to the health improvement of the people, and introduces new skills and technology.

 

8.         Location: Bahir Dar, Woldiya or any other location close major sources of raw material.

 

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