With a state-of-the-art drying plant and silo the Macedonian Rice Group

With a state-of-the-art drying plant and silo the Macedonian Rice Group

The new drying plant, which was inaugurated, together with the storage silos, at the beginning of October by the Producers Group “Macedonian Rice”, operates with a yield of the final product consistently above 63%, which in some cases even reaches an impressive 68%.

The state-of-the-art, medium-sized drying plant has a capacity of 10 tonnes of rice per hour and is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery which enables its operation to be controlled remotely and telemetrically, while the product is processed using the innovative technology of recirculation rather than continuous flow, which is used in the majority of drying plants in the region.

“This allows us to ensure much better quality rice as, unlike continuous flow dryers, in ours the product goes through the machines as many times as necessary, over and over again, at low temperatures before being taken to the silo for storage. In this way, during processing, we avoid the breakage of the grain and the cases of spoilage that can occur if a batch leaves the silo with a higher moisture content or if it is drier than it should be, which ultimately has a negative effect on the rest of the stored product,” explains Yannis Papadopoulos, manager and member of the Producers’ Group, to Agrenda.

The new drying plant has been built on a privately owned property of 24 hectares in the area of Nea Malgara in Thessaloniki and is part of a larger infrastructure that also includes two silos with a cumulative storage capacity of 3,000 tonnes of rice.

One of the silos is intended for the storage of medium-grain rice of the Ronaldo variety and has already accumulated some 2 000 tonnes from this year’s threshing season (500 tonnes in other warehouses), while the second silo will be used to store long-grain Bonnet rice, which is later and will be threshed from the end of October onwards.

“The new infrastructure will serve the same needs of the 11 members of the group, but will also be used to provide services to third parties”, Mr Papadopoulos told us, adding that this partial vertical integration of the group’s operations was aimed at better organising production and improving the quality of the product it produces, in order to sell it at higher prices.

The cost of the investment amounted to 1 million euros and is financed by a 500 thousand euro improvement plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, approved in 2018, and a programme of the Ministry of Development with a similar budget. The plans of the Producers Group are to gradually double the capacity of its storage facilities, adding, over a three-year period, two more silos of 1.500 tonnes each.