Thursday, May 23, 2024
Home Farming Tips Can My Local Maize Growers Cooperative Afford A Maize Mill?  

Can My Local Maize Growers Cooperative Afford A Maize Mill?  

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Joshua Kato

The requirements for a maize/cereals mill depend on the size of the unit that you want to use. There are small units that produce 100kgs of flour per hour for example. 

There are medium units that produce 300-400kgs of flour per hour and larger units that produce 700kgs and above. 

A unit that can process 500kgs per hour costs around sh12m. This is a complete set. It comes complete with a huller, a thresher, a miller and an engine or motor. 

But even as low as sh6m, a farmer or investor can have a complete set with a capacity to process at least 300-400kgs an hour (depending on size of the screen). 

Machinery requirements at a glance for a small size mill

Maize thresher-sh2.2m

Maize huller-sh2.3m

Maize miller-sh3.5m

Engine or motor sh2.5m

Others include a low or hoisted weighing scale, sacks for packing and of course labour. These may cost around sh1.5m. 

Overall, the total cost of starting a medium-sized maize mill is around sh12m on average, fully registered as a company.  

Costs of running a mill

According to estimates, you need around sh300,000 to mill a ton of maize flour. A ton has got 1000kgs.

These expenses include the cost of the maize grain, power/fuel for the generators, labour costs plus wear and tear of machinery. 

To process a ton of good flour, you need around 1.8 tons of maize grain. At a cost of sh500 per kilogram of grain, this means that you spend sh900,000 on the grain. The other money is spent on labour, power and sacks for packing the flour.  

At the current cost of sh1500 per kilogram of flour, the mill will make sh1.5m from the ton of flour. This gives a profit of around sh500,000. 

Comparatively, a farmer earned only sh900,000 from the same raw material. If the mill operates constantly, you can recover the costs of investment in less than one year. 

Other products from maize

There are other ways of adding value to maize. For example, dried grains can be roasted and eaten as snacks. Again, across many supermarkets, a half-kilogram pack of roasted maize grain goes for between sh1000-sh1500. 

Children`s favourite crunches and snacks like gorrillos are made using maize flour as a base. 

Maize is also used to create whole grains-like maize cereals. 

It is used to make bread, pancakes and even beer. 

With its high levels of starch, maize bran is a key component of livestock feeds. A kilogram of maize bran goes for sh700. Additionally, maize stovers can be used to make silage for livestock. 

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