Hello and welcome! I am Onen Ceasar, a 24 year young graduate teacher and agripreneur born in a family of 10, in Lira District, Northern part of Uganda.
My project provides hands-on training in maize postharvest handling and processing management to school dropouts, women and vulnerable youths including but not limited to people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and persons with disabilities.
Maize is one of the main staple foods in Uganda. Because of local preferences and tastes, most of the maize grown in Uganda is dried and processed to create maize flour. Maize is generally grown during two seasons by approximately 95 percent of the family farms. On average each family produces approximately 500 kilograms of unprocessed maize each year and will only process approximately 200kg, because members of the community have to travel at least 8 kilometers to the nearest miller. Due to the long distances that must be traveled, transportation costs become a large burden for many which leads to loss in product due to maize wilt.
Climate change has meant a decrease in the growth of bananas so maize is now a preferred crop. In the Lira sub county there are currently 30,000 people and the population is expected to continue growing. Most rural farmers grow a considerable amount of maize to process into maize flour and maize bran. This results in high demand for corn grinders. Therefore, constructing a milling business in the Lira area will greatly benefit the rural community and surrounding communities.
The major value creation that the miller offers is that of saving the customer money through decreased transportation costs and marketing of the processed maize on their behalf. The milling machine will process the maize into quality flour from the rural areas of Lira Sub County. To get the quality maize flour is a two-step process that requires two different machines. The first machine, called a huller, is to remove the shell of the maize corn. The second machine is the grinder that grinds the previously shelled maize into fine flour for Posho and making baby porridge.
To begin with, because there is a limited amount of capital available, one engine will run both the huller and the grinder at separate times. The hulling process is expected to be slightly faster than the grinding process. The person running the machines will then need to change the belts to drive the grinder. Assuming that the business operates for eight hours in a day the conservative estimated capacity after both shelling and milling would be 1600 kg of unprocessed maize each day.
The byproduct (the shell of the maize corn) will be used to make animal and poultry feeds to boost the rural farmers’ animal and poultry production. We market the quality processed maize flour for our farmer.
I expect to use the fund to buy the dual purpose Huller and Grinding machine at UGX 8.5 million Uganda shillings. Then UGX 6 million is for buying the unprocessed maize from the farmers for the start and 1.5 million is to cater for maintenance and daily running costs such as labour cost, fuel since it’s based in rural area where there is no electricity.
Profit; I buy each kg of maize bran (the shell of the maize corn hulled) at UGX 200/= from the farmers the ingredient I add per kg cost UGX 400/= and I sell a kg of finished feeds at 1,500/=.
The gross earnings from 2000kg of maize bran is UGX 3 million per week. This translates to UGX144 million per year. Keeping it to the minimum of 400kg hulled maize corn per day, yet it reaches 500kg per on a good day and;
Considering the current price for processing of maize flour at UGX 300/= per kg and 1600kg of maize is processed per day for 5 day a week basing on the production capacity of the machine which process 1700kg per day. This translates to 2.4 million Uganda shillings per week and 115.2 million per year.
Thank you so much for reading and your support.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Onen Ceasar (Uganda) – onenceasar[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as proposal #70 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.
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2 thoughts on “YAP proposal #70: Milling maize (Onen Ceasar, Uganda)”
Onen, this is a wonderful project. It actually adds value to the residues from corn. Poultry and animal feeds is currently needed by majority of small-scale farmers in our communities and there is ready local market for them. I wish you luck
Thank you Robert for the encouragement.