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Roland Brouwer

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      Roland Brouwer

      SUSTAIN Mozambique is still in an early phase with regard to puree (and bread) production as we focused initially on juice and biscuits. As the local currency has plummeted against he dollar wheat imports have become more expensive and the substitution of wheat by other locally produced ingredients economically more attractive, we will now start. This month we will work with one bakery outside Maputo city in Manhiça, 70 km north of Maputo City (the capital). At the same time we are looking at opportunities in Central Mozambique.
      Prior to our activities we had a feasibility study carried out for the central region. Mutatis mutandii this study is also useful to understand some of the dilemmas in other parts of the country.
      Issues that came up during this study:
      – Low consumption of bread: On the average people eat only 8 buns per person per month (this outside the provincial capital)
      – High costs of investment compared to revenue: If one would do the full package IR is 30% and break even is only achieved after five years assuming interest at 0%. For a commercial invest this is not very attractive as interest is 15%. This means that OFSP puree and berad making can only take off with a subsidy and a scaling up outside a project context is very unlikely
      – Will there be demand? People prefer dry white Portuguese style buns and not so much the sweeter loafs. Application in a yellow sweeter bun called “arrofada” may be a better strategy than using it in normal bread.
      – Small number of capable entrepreneurs. During the feasibility study which covered five towns and cities only three entrepreneurs were identified as having a sufficient basis to start OFSP production.
      – Will there be supply: we estimate that the expansion of OFSP achieved under SUSTAIN should be able to sustain modest bread production and expect that if the demand goes up production will follow.
      It is early to extract any lessons from this, but it is clear that the study shows that OFSP puree and bread production is not so easy and that there are considerable risks. Hopefully over a few months we are able to provide a better assessment of the causes of success (or failure) for a bakery in southern Mozambique.
      PS. There have been efforts (many) to introduce cassava in bread making. Apparently in Maputo only one bakery produces bread using cassava. Even the use of other cereals (rye, maize) has proven very limited and reaches only a very small segment of the market. This is another cautionary statement as to the difficulties of changing bread production in a sustainable manner.

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