Maputo, Mozambique, 13 April – The Bela Vista Rice Project is awaiting a concession of 5,000 hectares of land to start producing rice on an industrial scale, the chairman of the board of LAP/UBUMTO SA (Libya Africa Investment Portfolio), Filipe Gago told Macauhub in Matutuine, a district in the south of the Mozambican province of Maputo.
The project, which is expected to cost US$33 million and is entirely funded by the Libyan Fund for African Development, is located 80 kilometres from Maputo.
So far just 60 hectares of rice has been planted, which means industrial production is so far not feasible.
A source from the Agriculture Ministry said that the land concession requested by the company was due to be authorised over the next few days.
LAP/UBUMTO has an agreement with the Agriculture ministry for the concession of 20,000 hectares of land for rice production.
Gago said that using techniques from Vietnam and Thailand the project expected to produce 10 tons of rice per hectare.
The company has so far invested US$27 million in purchasing machinery, setting up its facilities and repairing a 7-kilometre dyke.
The rice processing factory, which is expected to cost US$10 million and have capacity to process 600 tons of rice per day, is due to start operating in September, 2012.
Mozambique currently consumes 650,000 tons of rice per year, but produces just 285,000 tons.
The chairman of LAP/UBUMTO SA. Said he believed that once the factory started operating it could reduce the annual rice deficit by 15 percent. (macauhub)