Hot-air dried aromatic plants for traders for export and packing factories

Opportunity Description: Hot Air-dried herbal and aromatic plants. Sun or Hot Air drying is less energy intensive - farming of aromatic plants requires less chemical fertilizers than other crops and many aromatic plants have a competitive edge in Luxor.
PRODUCT: Dried herbal and aromatic plants and herbs
Sector: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Processing
Market: Local consumers, Export
Initial Investment Required: EGP 994,000
Details Available: Opportunity Study
Market Potential: Traders for local markets and export according to quality. It could expand to retail packing - factory for sterilization and texturing for better quality in drinks and stronger aroma.
Supply: Selected herbal and aromatic plants - mix of produce based on the season such as hibiscus and mint, and a focus on fennel and caraway.
Process: Manual washing and sun drying on open trays, could be covered for protection (Hot Air drying, washing laying in drying chambers) - packing in special boxes (for export, zipped packs).In export packing requirements may apply - note manual separation of the economic part of the produce. Requires chamber dimensions of 3x7x3 - Bricks - lined with stainless steel.
Human Resources: Technical and Business Development Manager – 1
Operations and Maintenance – 2
Manual Labor – 4-8
Financial: CAPEX required EGP 428,000
3-month OPEX required EGP 566,000
IRR expected is 66%
Payback period around 2.2 years
Risk: Risk – lack of awareness of farmers to produce high quality harvest that is suitable.
Mitigation - partnership with farmers along with strong awareness for post-harvest to ensure good agricultural practices.
Risk - marketing challenges: attempt to market the product before production
Mitigation - requires strong business development.
IMPACT: Environmental - Decrease waste in produce by providing longer shelf life product.
Social - Increase return on agriculture activities.