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Iron and Steel Cots


1. Product Description:  Cots are small and light beds (fixed or folding) made from mild steel conduit pipes.  These beds are lighter and less cumbersome than beds made from wood.  Cots, like wood beds, can not be eaten away by moths or white ants and so have longer life.  To save floor space some types of cots can be double decked.  The folding type cots have the additional advantage of being folded and staked away during the day time thus freeing room space which can be used for other purposes.


2. Rationale:  Beds are among the most essential household furniture for any family.  But in the rural Amhara Region, there are millions of people who do not have beds in the proper sense of the word.  Some families considered “well-to-do” use beds crudely constructed form eucalyptus poles.  Most rural families sleep on floors or on what is known as “medeb”. One reason why rural people do not use cots is that these products are not effectively introduced and promoted in the Region.  There are more than 17.02 million people in the rural areas of the Amhara Region. . If given the choice, there could be at the minimum 500,000 people who can be willing to buy cots.  This can justify a plant which produces iron and steel cots in the Region.


3. Market Potential:  There are small manufacturing units which produce beds from wood in three or four major urban centers in the Region.  There are also units which produce beds made from metal frames and meshed wire.  But these units cater to urban customers and their production capacity is limited. However, if cots are introduced and effectively promoted in rural areas and offered for reasonable prices, there will be enough number of people (among the 17.02 million population) who will buy cots which can justify the establishment of a cot manufacturing plant.

 Estimated Current Demand


No. of Population

No. of Families

Potential Demand


















           Source: The no. of population is taken from CSA, Annual Abstract (2006)

                                               * One family is 5 people

4.  Source of Raw Material:  to be imported.


5.  Process and Technology: Cots are prepared from mild steel conduit pipe.  These pipes are cut into the size of cots.  The pipes are then bent to shape on a pipe bending fixture.  There after the joints are welded and the supporting members are riveted.  Once the frame is completed, holes are drilled in the frames and part of the cot on which the body lies is fixed.  This part can be made from wire or nylon cord.  Main plant and machinery include pipe bending fixture, arc welding set, fly press, bench type drilling machine, flexible shaft grinder, portable drilling machine, lever type shear, painting accessories.


6. Estimated Investment:  For a plant that will produce 3000 fixed type cots and 3000 folding type cots, the investment requirement will be:

§         Building 150m2 at Br. 1500/m2 = Br. 225,000

§         Machinery and equipment         = Br. 100,000

§         Working capital                        = Br.  50,000



7. Benefits:  Improves the well-being of the people who will use the beds, self-sufficiency in this essential consumer product, saves financial resources of the Region, improves existing skills and technology.


8. Location:  Bahir Dar, Combolcha, Gondar