ZAMBIA – The Government of Zambia is seeking to establish a modern tomato processing project worth US$5 million, to be undertaken through a Special Purpose Vehicle that will be wholly owned by private investors.

To this end, the government has made a call to the private investors in the country to take part in the initiative, in a bid to meet the local demand of tomato paste in the country and tap into the export market.

According to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), the investment will be in the form of equity finance in the special purpose vehicle that will manage and run the project.

“The government, Zambia Development Agency, Ministry of Trade Commerce and Industry (MCTI), Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and other government agencies will assist the private investors to establish the project, through various forms of interventions,” indicated the development agency.

As part of the initiative, the investors will establish a tomato processing plant with an average production capacity of 10,000 tonnes of tomato paste per annum, producing both cold and hot break tomato paste to meet customers` specifications.

To be constructed on 10 acres of land located in Monze in the Southern Province of Zambia, the plant is set be operational within 12 months.

The tomato processing plant will have an average production capacity of 10,000 tonnes of tomato paste per annum

The business will outsource tomatoes from all provinces in Zambia, which will need the construction of tomato collection depots for the collection of fresh tomatoes for processing.

“The processed products will be of high quality and grade that meets international standards. They will be packaged into 50 kg aseptic bags for the regional and international markets and small packages for the domestic markets ranging from 2kg, 5kg, 10kg and 25kg aseptic bags,” highlighted ZDA.

The funds will also be utilised in the acquisition of equipment, machinery, vehicles and working capital to pay for raw materials, inputs, salaries and other operational costs.

In other related news, Chinese firm, Zhong Yang Eco-Agriculture Industry Park, recently signed a US$80 million Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with ZDA, aimed at enhancing investment cooperation between the two parties.

The agricultural firm is focused in commercial seed production, animal husbandry, and fish farming.

ZDA board chairperson David Masupa noted that the US$80 million five-year planned investment in the agriculture sector, will go a long way in contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He assured Zhong yang Eco-Agriculture industry park that the Zambian government will work with the company to ensure that the investment bares fruit.

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