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New technology gives milling industry a boost

Written by Samona Murugan and SAnews
A newly launched compact mill will not only make it much cheaper to grind maize into flour but is also expected to create jobs.

Photo caption: The new Isigayo Compact Mill is expected to bring new players into the market, build small, medium and macro enterprises and assist in lowering the price of maize.The mobile technology maize mill is a two-ton per hour compact mill designed by the Buhler Group and requires very little training before operating it.

The Isigayo Compact Mill has a low start- up cost and is targeted at small to medium enterprise millers, commercial maize farmers and small farming communities.

The compact mill has the potential to re- store milling as a lucrative industry in South Africa and provides an opportunity for the industry to alleviate poverty, attract new players, create more jobs, develop skills and provide affordable nutrition.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) acting deputy director-general, Garth Strachan, the Isigayo Compact Mill is a game changer.

“This is a new mobile technology that will bring new players into the market, build small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs) and assist in lowering the price maize,” he pointed out.

The technology will help government establish a commercially viable small-scale maize milling sector that will introduce competition in the milling industry.

Almost 37 per cent of the consumer price of maize meal goes to the transporting and logistical costs of the crop. The new mill allows for easier and more affordable crop production. It will also save the department and government millions of rands in tax incentives.

A large portion of dti’s R12.5 billion tax incentive for the past two years has gone into the agro-processing sector,  covering various costs such as transporting food to the markets, among others.

According to Buhler South Africa CEO Calvin Grieder, the Isigayo Compact Mill is affordable and easy to transport.

He added that the new innovation would not only create jobs and develop skills while improving nutrition, but would also empower and generate an income for entrepreneurs and existing small-scale millers.

“Over the years government has placed a great deal of importance on agro-processing, as many opportunities exist within the sec- tor. Buhler supports this initiative fully,” he said.

The Isigayo Compact Mill is fi with standard Buhler equipment, is pre-assembled in two containers and pre-engineered as a complete milling plant. Very little infra- structure is necessary and the mill is easily transportable. This is especially beneficial for SMMEs that are expanding into milling.