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1        Product Description: Beans, peas and lentils belong to the genus of legumes. These crops are also known as pulses. In many countries great importance is attached to pulses for human consumption especially with a view to their richness in protein. The aim of industrial processing of pulses is to prepare the agricultural produce for human consumption that is promoting perfectly hygienic products of attractive appearance to market requirements, keeping a constantly high quality standard. The processed pulses are either sold to consumers or delivered to the food industry for further processing to produce tinned foods or any other refined ready-made meals. Processing of pulses also helps to store the material to be sold in post harvest season. It is also used to maintain food reserve for period of food shortages.


2        Market Potential: Processing of pulses is not only a commercial operation for making financial gains, but it is also an operation that will lessen problems during times of food shortages. Hence, the need for processing pulses should not be seen only as a commercial venture. It should also be considered as a means for preventing human suffering during periods of in adequate food production. 


3        Source of Raw materials: Enough pulses will be secured within the region for supplying the needed “raw materials’ for the processing plant.


4        Process and Technology: The processing of pulses involves about five stages depending on the type of seed to be processed. These are cleaning and grading, hulling (with out/with splitting), glazing and/or polishing, grinding and screening and hydrothermal treatment, Cleaning and grading include operations like removal of foreign matters, elimination of damaged discolored, broken, spoilt or infested seeds, removal of dirt sticking to the seed surface, classification by sizing to obtain a uniform end product. Hulling operation involves removing the indigestible coat from the seeds. During this operation, peas and lentils are often split or divided in to two halves. Glazing and polishing pulses are often exposed to an after treatment to improve their appearance and storage stability. Hulled and split peas and lentils are dampened and guided to pass through a rotating glazing drum after adding a glucose solution. Thereafter all sticky split halves are sorted out in the drum grader and subsequently separated again by using the splitter. Grinding and screening involve grinding and sifting the semi-processed peas and lentils using hammer or fine-grinding mills and plansifters for producing flour. Hydrothermal treatment represents a treatment with moisture and heat over a specific period, which allows the manufacture of special and easy-to-prepare food. Whole peas and lentils are soaked in water for 5 to 15 hours depending on the species, thus increasing their water content to about 45 percent. Then they are fed into autoclaves to be cooked to the stage of “well done”. The precooked pulses are then passed through a recycled- air drier for drying at low temperature. Precooked whole peas and lentils are used for preparing meals. Required machinery includes different sets of machines for (a) cleaning and grading (b) hulling and splitting and (c) sundry equipment. Machines for (c) include separator, magnetic separator, and indent cylinder unit with secondary separator, gravity separator dry destoner, and drum grades with countersunk perforation. Machines for (b) include vertical whitener-pearler, drum graders, splitter, round sifter, dry destoner. Machines for (c) include intake chute, elevators, cyclones and fans, spouts and aspiration ducts, etc.


5        Estimated Investment: For a plant that will process 2000 tons of pulses per year, the estimated investment will be:


    • Building/shade 400m2 at Birr 2000/m2……………… = Birr       800,000
    • Machinery ……………………………………..  = Birr       4,700,000
    • Working capital ……………………………..   = Birr         900,000

                                                                       Total…………… = Birr      6,400,000

6        Benefits: Similar to other projects.


7        Location: Bahir Dar, Debre Markos, Combolcha, Debre Tabor.