Danilson Silveira attended the AgriBusiness Forum 2011, held in South Africa. We contacted him to learn more about his successful business. Read full interview below.
: As the owner of the largest animal feed factory in Cape Verde, please give us some background history on how you established your company and what are the current figures in terms of turnover/employment?
: The UPRANIMAL is a family-owned company established in January 1995 by António Inácio da Silveira, producing and marketing animal feed. At the time, the factory had the capacity to manufacture one ton per hour, while employing only six employees.
In a short time, the demand for our products increased beyond expectations, surpassing the capacity of the factory. Therefore, in 1998 we had to triple our production capacity, starting to produce 3 tons of feed per hour, by purchasing new machinery. The company was still unable to satisfy the entire demand so we decided to produce more animal feed during the night shift, increasing the number of employees at the factory and working almost 24 hours per day.
To guarantee a sustainable production, we decided in 2006 to start the construction of a new plant. We started to use this new infrastructure in 2008, at the same time becoming the largest animal feed factory in Cape Verde.
The existing conditions of production in this plant, combined with the quality of raw materials we use, ensure a quality product recognized in the market and manufactured with the same machinery used in Portugal and Brazil.
Today, despite the difficulties in transportation between the islands, the company has managed to place its products in nearly all regions of the country, having four sales offices located on the islands of Santiago, São Domingos, Cidade da Praia and Assomada. We also own a distribution warehouse in Fogo Island that soon will be used as an outlet. In S. Vicente, UPRANIMAL is partner at the local feed factory "Primor" who has sales points in S. Vicente and S. Antão.
In addition to all the sales offices and partnership previously announced, the company also has several representatives and dealers in a few other islands. We currently have 49 employees working for the company.
Our current turnover is 2.535.092.000 €
: What is the main driving factor for your success and what do you aim to achieve in the next 5 years?
: In order to increase competitiveness and avoid the hurdles of the current market the company has set some goals to achieve and also some projects with the aim of developing the livestock sector in Cape Verde.
The project mainly consists of creating partnerships with a breed association and also with other companies in the sector to produce high quality products.
One of the goals that the company intends to achieve and what is mainly needed at the moment, which would increase the competitiveness of the company, is to start importing raw materials (like maize and soya) directly from producers.
: What are the main hurdles that you face in terms of business development as a Cape Verde company? What suggestions would you have to improve the country’s business environment?
: The lack of raw materials and equipment in the country are often on the basis of inefficiency to provide certain services and failure to produce, as everything has to be imported and taxed by customs duty making it very expensive.
We encourage companies to deploy modern technologies of production and promote the utilization of renewable energies.
: How significant is it for Cape Verde companies to attend and be present at international business gatherings such as EMRC forums?
: No doubt, we consider it extremely important because this is a good way to meet new realities and new partners.
: How important are the ties and collaboration amongst Lusophone countries for companies such as yours?
: We consider it of utmost importance. Cape Verde is a country that relies heavily on the outside and has a very high import rate. The Lusophone countries are our first reference, although currently some companies have been developing commercial relationships with Latin American countries to purchase grain.