Olam to build Mozambique's first roller cotton gin
Olam International, a leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, has started construction of its first state- of-the-art roller cotton gin in Mozambique.
Writer Ian Armitage
Project manager Eleanor Watson
This is an exciting time for Olam Moçambique, which plans to make large investments over the next four years. Indeed, last month, Olam International, of which Olam Moçambique is a subsidiary, started construction of its first state-of-theart roller cotton gin in the country. The $2 million development signifies Olam's "continued progress in increasing local cotton production and strengthens supply chain efficiencies by investing in processing operations that are close to smallholder cotton farmers," it said in a release. "
Since Olam started sourcing cotton in Mozambique in 2008 we have worked closely with farmers, local government and independent partners to increase yields and improve production methods," Indranil Majumdar, Business Head Natural Fibres, Olam Moçambique, said at an official ceremony at the site in Beira, Sofala Province.
"To date, our volumes have risen fourfold and we are now able to progress existing plans to develop our third cotton gin in Mozambique. The roller gin will be the first of its kind here and will complement our saw gins to provide the additional capacity required to support future growth. This is an important milestone for Olam Moçambique and will contribute to the local economy through job creation and market growth."
Once completed, the new facility - equipped with high speed rollers and modern machinery - will have the capacity to produce around 120 metric tonnes of seed cotton per day and will provide new employment opportunities for up to 200 full-time and seasonal workers.
Olam's cotton operations in Mozambique, including a supplier network of around 67,000 farmers, are part of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) programme.
The BCI, together with producers and retailers, aims to improve the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainable cotton production.
Olam has been working with the BCI since 2012 in Mozambique to open more than 400 farmer field schools and train more than 10,000 farmers in jointly approved good agricultural practices to increase farmers' incomes.
"The revival of Mozambique's cotton industry is still in its early stages," Majumdar added. "Olam continues to appreciate the support of IAM, the officials of the SofalaProvince, our partners such as BCI and the farmer co-operatives to help create a thriving cotton industry. Our collaboration seeks to unlock mutual value in terms of market growth and social prosperity."
Olam began operations in Mozambique in 1999, handling cashew procurement in the Northern Province of Nampula. Today, its operational scope has expanded to seven product categories spanning the length and breadth of the country.
The company actively assists thousands of farmers with their inputs and financing, and provides them with a market for their produce.
According to its website, it is "actively participating in rice farming to improve food security for the country." Its rice distribution network spans most of Mozambique's towns, and its rice brand, Mama Africa, is "one of the leading brands" in the country.
Olam has five cashew units in Mozambique and employs 5,200 people. It currently operates three cotton concessions in the country's North and Central regions.
In Nampula, it employs 3,000 employees in cashew processing operations, 90 percent of whom are women. This puts Olam among the leading employers across the whole country.
"We are now the biggest distributors of rice in Mozambique, importing around 90,000 tons per year," the company's Managing Director Ujjwalkanta Senapati told Macauhub in a recent interview.
He added that the company was putting together an investment plan for the areas of agricultural production and food distribution, which could equal the amount of investment made since it started operating in Mozambique.
Olam Moçambique is a subsidiary of Olam International, which is a leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, supplying various products across 16 platforms toover 12,300 customers worldwide. Its headquarters is in Singapore and it has a direct presence in more than 65 countries.
Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses, including Cashew, Spices & Dehydrates, Cocoa, Coffee, Rice, Cotton and Wood Products.
It ranks among the top 50 largest listed companies in Singapore in terms of market capitalisation and is the only Singapore firm to be named in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Forbes Asia Fabulous 50, an annual list of 50 big-cap and most profitable firms in the region.
Olam has a dominant presence in Africa, with ginning operations in Zimbabwe, Cote d'Ivoire, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Nigeria.
Worldwide, it handled 10.7 million tonnes of products for a sales revenue of S$17.1 billion in FY 2012.
To learn more visit www.olamonline.com.