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Potato


  1. Product Description: Potatoes can be converted into chips, wafers, flour starch, alcohol and canned potatoes.  Potato chips are made plain or flavored and they may be sliced, plain or regular as well as wavy or wafer cut.  Potato wafers are chips which are deep fried in vegetable oils.  Both potato chips and wafers are becoming more and more popular in the big urban areas of the country.

 

  1. Rationale: Potatoes are one of those perishable agricultural products which are by nature difficult to store and keep them for months even weeks.  After harvest, potatoes either have to be consumed by the producer or sold for immediate consumption by the buyer.  Due to their perishablity potatoes have to be sold immediately after harvesting which results in excess supply over demand depressing the price of potatoes.  This discourages farmers from growing potato which has relatively higher yield per hectare.  One option to solve this problem is to convert fresh potato is into dry or fried (chips and wafers) potato so that it can be sold during any time of the year with better prices.  This is why this project should be promoted.

 

  1. Market Potential: Potato chips and wafers are new types of food whose consumption is increasing in the big urban centers.  With appropriate marketing promotion, the demand of these food products will increase in the future.  Strangely enough while potato is produced in all the highland parts of the country, most of the potato chips and wafers being consumed are imported.  One can see imported packets of chips and wafers in the “super” markets of Addis Ababa.  If we can produce potatoes, there is no reason why we can not process the fresh potato and change it to chips and wafers.  The existing market which will expand in the future will absorb the production of one or two potato chips and wafers producing plants.

 

  1. Source of Raw Material: All the “Dega” and upper “Woina Dega” parts of the Amhara region are sources of raw material-potato.  If the plant is to be established, the source of the raw material will be West Gojam and South Gondar, if in Combolcha, South Wollo and part of North Showa will be the sources of the raw material.
  2. Production Process & Technology: (a) Chips: washing and peeling, cutting into chips or chipping, disinfection or blanching, dehydration and packing. (b) wafers- the process is similar up to blanching and it includes passing through hydro extractor to remove excess water from the sliced potato, deep frying in vegetable oils; and packing in polyethene bags. 

Main machinery include boiler, potato peelers, steam jacketed kettles dryers, slices, storage tank and other assorted accessories.

 

  1. Estimated Investment: Building 350 m2 at Birr 2000/m2  = Birr 700,000; Plat & Machinery Birr 300,000 Total Birr 1,000,000

 

  1. Benefits: Increases the income of potato farmers, stimulates potato farming, saves foreign exchange, crates the flow of financial resources to the Region.

 

  1. Location: Urban centers located in or near Dega and upper Woina Dega areas of the Region.  Debre Tabor, Debre Berhan, Debre Markos, Koso Ber.

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