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June 01, 2009

Agriterra opens second operation in Mozambique

Agriterra has opened its second agricultural buying and processing facility in Mozambique. The facility is located at Tete and was set up to replicate the company's successful DECA facility at Chimoio, which has been in operation since 2005.

It has the capacity to process approximately 50,000 tonnes of maize per annum, collected from approximately 350,000 local producers in the Manica province of Mozambique.

Operations at Tete are focussed on the purchase of maize from indigenous out-growers, which is then processed into corn flour.The total storage capacity for maize is currently 12,600 tonnes, consisting of four 1,500 tonne silos and one 600 tonne silo, and an additional two large warehouses with capacity to store 3,000 tonnes each.

At the close of the next buying season, which lasts from June until late August/early September, the company will evaluate whether the total silo storage should be increased. The infrastructure required to increase Compagri to the maximum capacity of 50,000 tonnes has already been developed meaning future expansion can be achieved for the next buying season in 2010, with minimised additional expenditure.

At Tete, the company is also evaluating the viability of diversifying its product range to include other agricultural products such as beans and ground nuts.

Andrew Groves, CEO of Agriterra, said: "The opening of the Tete facility should contribute significantly to our operational and financial performance. By replicating the success of our Chimoio operation we can build on our current position and become a leading agri-operation in southern and central Africa, servicing the local and export markets as well as gaining further exposure to buyers such as the UN Food Programme, one of DECA's major customers."

Food Business Review

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