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Straw Board for Building


1.       Product Description: Straw board is a panel made from clean, dry and unpulped cereal straw or similar fibrous material. The panel is used in the construction and wood works industries as a substitute to chip wood or other boards. It can also be used for making containers for packaging purposes.


2.       Rationale: Chip wood and straw board panels are used for roofing and for wall portioning in the construction and for making tables, cupboards, shelves, beds in the wood working industries.  Currently both types of panels are not produced in the Amhara region.  However, the Amhara region is basically a cereals growing region where straw, as a residue of cereal production, can be found in sufficient quantities. Up to now, the straw is partly used as animal feed in some parts of the region and in others it is Regt on the farm after harvesting. For many construction purposes, panels made from straw board is a good and cheaper substitute for chip wood. Since the raw material is there and the product can be absorbed by the growing building industry, the establishment of a straw board making plant in the region will contribute to the further expansion of the building industry in the region.


3.       Market Potential: If not like Addis Ababa and other few areas, the building industry is expanding in the Amhara region. Many construction activities are going on in urban areas like Bahir Dar, Gondar, Dessie, Debre Markos, Woldiya and other smaller urban centers.  All the buildings require panels for inside footing. Chip wood is very expensive in the region and it is imported from Addis Ababa.  It also uses a lot of wood thereby putting more pressure on our remaining forest resources.  Therefore, straw board will have sufficient market in the building industry of the region.


4.       Source of Raw Material: Straw from cereals is the main raw material and this is found in practically all parts of the Amhara region especially in the Dega and Woina Dega areas of the region.


5.       Production Process & Technology:  Processes collecting and cleaning the raw material, steaming, warming, slabs pressing, paper lining, gumming, cutting, drying, winding and packing.  Machinery and equipment include, waste separator, straw feed hopper, slab forming, paper lining, cutting and sealing machines.


6.       Estimated Investment: The plant will require a minimum of 1000 m2 built- up area whose investment cost will be about Birr 400,000. Plant and machinery may cost Birr 3,500,000.  Total investment will, therefore, be about Birr 3.9 million.


7.       Benefits: Facilitates the building industry, self- sufficiency in an important building material, economic utilization of an agricultural residue-straw, introduces new skills and technology to the Region plus the other common benefits.


8.       Location: Debre Markos, Debre Tabor, Debre Birhan and other urban areas where cereal production is prominent.