A N$134.6 million state-of–the–art Bakpro bread factory situated north of Windhoek at Okapuka farm was officially opened by Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Minister Tjekero Tweya yesterday.
The Bakpro bread factory, a Namib Mills Investment Group of Companies (NMI) investment, has created 120 new jobs along the entire production line. Of these, 20 are upskilled and trained to work in the automated baking plant, a first for Namibia.
“We are not launching a solar-power plant, nor do we launch a water desalination plant or a major cement factory. We are here this morning to witness the official launch of the first-ever bread factory machine whose strategic objective, according to the brand promise of Bakpro, is feeding the nation,” Tweya said.
He said the footprint of Bakpro bread is currently in the central and Erongo regions.
Tweya said: “In terms of the strategic plan of Bakpro, it envisages to enlarge its brand presence and distribution network in future to all 14 regions of Namibia and its goes without saying that the job opportunities that will come from this expansion will be remarkable.”
He said the management cadre of Namib Mills Investment Group is strategically aligned with the ideals of the African Continental Free Trade Area as they also plan to establish their brand in other African countries and elsewhere as value-added products to increase intra-African trade and the presence of Namibian consumer brands abroad.
As we speak, Tweya said, the “famous” Pasta Polana brand is currently available in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and eSwatini.
“Bread distribution to other countries would, however, not be practical due to the short shelf life of this unprecedented commodity,” he said.
With the 16 members of SADC, Tweya said, Pasta Polana and other brands need to penetrate all these markets to benefit from the 330 million consumers of SADC.
This, according to him, is a highly realistic expectation, because Namibia is the first and only African country that has achieved exporting its beef to the Chinese and American markets.
“If we can export our beef to the Chinese and the Americans, it should not be that complicated to land our Pasta Polana on the shelves of SADC in the short to medium term,” he said.
Tweya says he is aware that Namib Mills have applied for their manufacturing status, despite the fact that incentives for industrialisation are not receiving the priority they rightfully deserve.
And today, he said, bread is still as relevant and important in citizens’ lives as before as we “pray every day to the Lord ‘to give us on this day our daily bread’”.
2020-03-13 10:48:09 | 3 months ago