Wilmar Africa to begin rice packaging
…as it targets 58,000mt production capacity
Officials of Wilmar Africa Limited (WAL) have disclosed that before the end of the year, they would begin packaging fortune rice, one of the most patronised perfumed rice brands in the country.
Wilmar Africa is in the business of manufacturing, importing and distributing edible oil and packaged rice under main brands such as Frytol, Alffi and Fortune.
It has set a production target of 58,075metric tonnes of the Fortune rice for this year and remains hopeful of achieving it before the turn of the year.
“We are in the process of packaging the rice and hopefully before the end of the year, we would have our rice packaged here in Ghana.” Coulibaly told members of the Parliamentary Press Corp when they paid an industrial visit to the company in Tema.
What it further means is that, Wilmar Africa would be putting up a separate packaging facility for that purpose as well as employing more hands, Mr Dan Benah, the Head, HR and Administration, explained.
The Fortune rice is the newest member of the Wilmar Africa family and comes in various types: Fortune Thai Jasmine, Fortune Viet Jasmine and Fortune KDM Jasmine.
According to management of Wilmar, the demand in the local market stands at 400,000 tonnes as against a local market production of 150,000tonnes.
“So, we have to import the 250,000 tonnes shortfall, but we have plans to expand because we are undertaking some investments which would increase our capacity,” Mr Coulibaly added.
Presently, the company’s 1,000 tons-per-day capacity plant caters for the palm oil refinery and officials are keen on setting up a different packaging facility for the rice category.
There are also plans by the company to extend production to neighbouring countries such as Togo, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Last year, the previous government expressed its desire to cut the rice import bill of about US$600m and make the country net exporter by 2020.
The Oxford Business School report reveals that only 34percent of rice consumed in the country is produced locally, resulting in the importation of 680,000 tonnes annually.
With population growth, urbanization and shifting consumer preferences, demand for rice is expected to continue expanding in the coming years.