The management of the Premier Milling Company, producers of wheat flour on the Liberian market plans to increase its production capacity to the Mano River sub-region.
Making the disclosure over the weekend in Monrovia, Mr. Elie Saleeby, President of the company, said the expansion is aimed at meeting the demands of the Mano River Union countries with the hope of supplying wheat flour beyond the West African regional market.
“We have to erase the notion that Liberians cannot export especially wheat flour to other countries in the sub-region,” Mr. Saleeby asserted.
Saleeby, a former Minister of Finance, said the expansion will not only ensure that Liberia is reemerging in the regional market but also maximize its production capacity and create more job opportunities for ordinary Liberians.
Mr. Saleeby named poor infrastructure, bad roads, poor human resource and electricity supply as some of the challenges that are impeding the supply of wheat flour to rural communities.
“Infrastructure conditions are so terrible and as such, one cannot easily access land transport to rural communities across the country,” Mr. Saleeby indicated.
He also claimed that local workers, water and sewer are some challenges the company is faced with.
“Electricity is unreliable and very costly, so we have to rely on power generation from 750 kva Caterpillar engines for electricity supply,” Mr. Saleeby emphasized.
He further disclosed that presently the company has two Chinese technicians who are training Liberians to take over from them when their time of service expires.
Mr. Saleeby, who did not reveal the cost of new mill, said everything has been put into place to facilitate the construction of the facility in a location different from the company’s original site.
“The mill, when completed, will provide animal feed for livestock, including feed for fish that will be mixed with sea shells to provide calcium which is good for human bone tissues,” Mr. Saleeby noted.
“Our workforce, including laborers, has significantly increased up to 125 persons,” he added.
He dispelled rumors that the location of the current flour mill is not environmentally conducive for the production of flour for consumption because of its proximity to the CEMENCO cement factory.
Mr. Saleeby said that before the facility was constructed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together with an environmental consultant conducted a feasibility study.
“The EPA was involved in the process leading to the establishment of the mill,” Mr. Saleeby maintained.