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18.01.2014, admin  
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Proposal: Zurmat Flour MillA business plan proposal to establish and operate a regional shortflow flour mill in Paktiya Province in Afghanistan. ZGB believes a regional flour mill will not only create economic gains for Afghanistan, but help address a critical food security gap that plagues Afghanistan.
In Loya Paktiya, most wheat is planted in October-November and harvested the following July-August. Both the Mill and the cleaning house will have to be imported from Kansas and shipped through Norfolk to Karachi and then transported overland to Kabul, for forward transportation to Gardez or Zurmat.
Wheat in Afghanistan is typically milled on a very small scale with grinding stones powered by water or diesel-powered motors. Only two of these mills are operating full-time, and both are in the north (Mazar-e-Sharif). Volatile global prices for wheat, political instability in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) regions of the country, the failure of mills to grind to capacity due to frequent power failures, and continued cross-border smuggling from Pakistan into Afghanistan may result in future supply shocks leading to severe shortages in Afghanistan. In the current environment, attractive market prices should naturally motivate small farmers to plant wheat and benefit from rising prices while also maximizing the returns on their yields.
This lab will also play a key role in ZFM’s marketing campaign and quality assurance program.
These mills operate part-time and at less than full capacity, due to power interruptions and limited wheat supplies.
There is no regional flour mill of any size within a 180 km radius of the proposed sites in Zurmat or Gardez. Dry cleaning with the KSU mill will consume far less water (which is scarce in Paktiya province) and have far less of an environmental impact. The GoP also sells wheat to Pakistani mills near the Afghan border at favorable prices, about US$5.50 below interior Pakistan prices. In this way, ZFM will leverage the established, traditional relationships between the ziranda millers and local farmers. The Government of Afghanistan (GoA) recognizes this reality, and ZFM plans to seek GoA support once suitable private sector partners are engaged. ZFM product will compete directly with high quality Pakistani flour, but will not negatively impact most small ziranda millers that produce inferior, brown flour. Method joining timber working solid rectangular one-day class introduces a number current-fed converter can be grain mill plans circumvented with. To construct and operate a regional shortflow flour mill in Paktiya Province in Afghanistan.
There are approximately one million farms in Afghanistan and more than 2,000 wholesalers for horticulture products. There are only six functioning commercial-sized flour mills in Afghanistan with an estimated combined capacity of 600 MT per day, but utilized capacity is only about 400 MT per day.

Proposed Equipment Layout of Cleaninghouse, Shortflow Mill, Flour Bagger including bins for dirty wheat, temper, feeder and flour (30 X 24 X 11 meters).
The flour milling industry in Pakistan is mainly dependent on support from the GoP, which releases wheat to flour mills on an as needed basis and also provides financing to flourmills for the procurement of wheat and for milling operations.
There are approximately 5,000 of these small millers in Afghanistan, and application of fortification would be extremely costly and labor intensive, while far fewer consumers would be affected. As a state-of-the-art regional commercial mill, ZFM will provide locally manufactured, superior quality and competitively-priced flour that is also vitamin fortified and halal certified. During surplus years, the GoP implements special arrangements to facilitate flour exports to Afghanistan (including suspension of regular duties on the export of flour and other concessions to flour mills). The modular design affords several key advantages over traditional long flow mills: preassembly before shipping, installation in simple, existing warehouse or factory buildings, and easy relocation to different sites, relative to traditional mills.
Despite these high yields, the zirandas typically produce discolored, poor quality flour, and they also destroy some of the nutrients that originally were present in the whole grain.
A cleaning house to provide cleaned grain for the mill will cost approximately US$800,000 (excluding shipping).
There are only eight commercial-sized mills operating in Afghanistan, none of which are in Paktiya, Paktika, Ghazni, Logar or Khost provinces. All of the functioning mills in Afghanistan are hampered, to varying degrees, by needed repairs or replacement of equipment, limited electricity and water, lack of technical expertise, lack of government investment and inadequate wheat supplies.
Currently, winter grain growing conditions in much of Afghanistan are significantly worse than last year, due to prolonged drought and low winter snowfall.
ZFM will also develop a web site to engage with its clients and as a platform for promotions, such as campaigns with celebrities, raffles, recipes and tips, among others. Expected output will be 30MT of vitamin fortified flour per day, expanding to a maximum capacity of 60MT based on projected future increases in planting and harvesting due to higher flour prices and increased demand generated by the flour mill itself. ZGB intends to fulfill ZFM’s water needs through locally sourced wells (both existing and new ones at or near the mill site). Afghanistan has a total of approximately 3 million hectares in production, half under irrigation and the other half rain-fed. The ziranda millers will also be the logical link between the farmer and the ZFM for post-harvest product storage and shipment to the mill. Winter wheat planting normally occurs between mid-September and mid-November, while harvest typically occurs from June through September.
Afghanistan also has a severe shortage of wheat milling capacity, which has created a market for surplus flour from Pakistan. With either a Zurmat or Gardez location, the mill will be well-serviced by two new major paved roads supported by USAID. ZGB is seeking partners and investors to help realize the economic and social value of a regional shortflow flour mill in Paktiya province.

This short flow produces high quality flour at a fraction of the cost of traditional long flow mills. With a reliable supply of flour from the regional flour mill, the number of bakeries is expected to increase.
Therefore flour milling and grain storage requirements of Afghanistan are issues of national food security. ZGB will seek to site the mill near a source of steady and reasonably-priced electrical power.
The domestic flour mill market is dominated by Pakistani imports, which are low cost during surplus years, and prohibitively expensive during shortfalls (as is the case during 2008). Five 40-foot containers will be needed for the Mill and an additional five containers for the cleaning house at an estimated US$10,000 per container for a total transport cost of US$100,000.
As winter planting begins, ZFM will be uniquely well-positioned to intake the upcoming harvests and produce and distribute wheat flour to the local market at a competitive price. Yousaf’s company, Zurmat Construction Company (ZCC), now has more than US$60 million in projects, employs 1,400 people and is recognized as one of the best Afghan general construction sub-contractors in the region.
The management team will be comprised of a General Manager and two shift managers (millers) who will be responsible for the operation of the milling equipment.
Grain storage, marketing, milling, baking and processing infrastructure are all grossly inadequate. The World Food Program has offered to support flour mill production with pre-mix feeders and fortificants. In the latter cases, the ziranda miller becomes the distribution link to farmers, to both purchase wheat for ZFM and also distribute to farmers quality fertilizers and ICARDA-certified seed for planting. The KSU Mill is designed for processing hard, soft, and durum wheat varieties into white flours with high extractions and quality finished products. The mill will run at approximately 192 HP with the cleaning house running additional motors at approximately 100-120 HP.
Grain buying and flour sales and marketing will be handled by a sales manager, who is the final member of the management team. Power consumption is greatly reduced on a per cwt basis (35% less power required than traditional mills), and the labor needed to operate a KSU Mill is minimal in comparison with traditional mills. Little cleaning or sieving of wheat is done prior to milling; zirandas typically do not separate the husk and the bran, producing yields of 97-99% whole-wheat flour.

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