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Production of Paper from Straw

1.  Product Description:  Strew is one of the oldest raw materials for paper making.  Using soda process straw can be converted to produce writing, printing and wrapping papers for which there is increasing demand in the Amhara Region.


2. Rationale:  In 1994 E.C. cultivation of wheat and barley covered about 668,470 hectares of land in the Amhara Region.  Production of wheat, barley, rice and oats was about 725,100 tons and estimated yield of straw was about 145,000 tons.  Main concentration of wheat and barley production is in the “dega” and upper” woina dega” parts of the Region.  Straw is used as animal feed in practically all parts of the Region.  However, in the parts of the Region mentioned, there is surplus raw which is usually left on the farm.  Part of this straw could be collected and processed to produce paper.


3.  Market Potential:  Total import of paper in 2004 was about 155,000 tons and domestic production was 8,400 tons.  Of this quantity, the share of the Amhara Region was about 49,000 tons.  The Amhara Region obtains its paper requirement either from imports or from other parts of the country.  Production of paper from straw will partially meet the paper demand of the Region.


4. Source of Raw Material:  The principle raw material is straw and this will be collected from wheat, barley and rice growing localities of the Region.  Chemicals which will be used to convert straw to pulp and paper will be imported.


5. Production Process & Technology: Two major stages in the process- pulping and paper making.  In pulping the following operations take place:- Chopping of the straw, dusting, cooking diluting and screening over a vibrating mesh screen; washing and cleaning bleaching is another major step in the production process followed by stock preparation, paper making end finishing operations.  Major plant sand machinery include more than 50 pieces of machines and instrument which are too many to list here.


6.  Estimated Investment:

§    Building 500 m2  at Birr 1500/m2 at Birr              750,000

§    Plant and Machinery                                        1,000,000

§    Working Capital                                                  400,000




7. Benefits:  Saves foreign exchange, saves the financial resource of the Region, utilizes an agricultural residue which otherwise would have been wasted, self- sufficiency (at least partially) in paper, new skills and technology to the Region.


8. Location Deber Markos, Debre Tabor, Debre Birhan