ANGOLA – Angolan company DNMJ has cut sodo for the commencement of construction of a tomato processing factory in Lumueno at a cost of Angola Kwanza 596m (US$1.4m).

According to reports by Jornalde Angola, the investor has obtained the financing from the Caixa Geral Angola bank and is set to complete establishment of the facility within one and a half years time.

Occupying a total area of ​​20 hectares, the processing plant is set to have a monthly processing capacity of 300 tons of tomatoes into concentrates.

To ensure availability of the needed raw material, the company has entered into a contractual agreement with 49 tomato growers in the region, an addition to its own raw material production from own farms located in Quêlo, Lucata and Soyo.

In addition to tomato concentrates, the facility will also have a production line for orange juice as part of the company’s strategy to diversify its offering.

Tomato are highly perishable crops and thus processing the produce into concentrate is aimed to mitigate spoilage and waste of the produce by adding value to the commodity, enabling it fetch higher prices in the market.

The concept has been widely adopted across Africa as recently in Kenya, the county government of Kisumu, opened a tomato processing plant worth Ksh.20 million (US$167,000).

The Kochieng’ Tomato Processing Plant is intended to produce tomato juice; tomato paste and other by products that will be branded and supplied to local supermarkets.

This followed the investment of US$3.9m into building a tomato processing factory in Loitok tok, Kajiado County by the state government and opening of a tomato pulping facility in Makueni County.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, the sector has witnessed investments by players such as Tomato Jos, an agro-processing company that launched its tomato paste variant into the West African market earlier this year.

Its processing plant built at a cost of over US$30m, sits on 500 hectares of land under lease from the Kaduna State Government, with a potential tomato cultivation area of 300 hectares.

It has been operational since March 2021 after it broke ground for commencement of construction in January 2020.

Going into the future, Tomato Jos plans to raise an additional US$10 million in debt and equity to fund further growth and expand its reach across the country.

It currently has over 200 full/contract workers, and a network of over 3,000 smallholder farmers who partner with them to grow year-round yields well above the national average.

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