ANGOLA – Angola’s NR farm has harvested 800 tons of tomatoes cultivated on a 20-hectare space of the farm and are gradually shipping the produce to markets in Benguela and Luanda.

The 180-hectare farm is in Dombe Grande, in the municipality of Baía Farta and has approximately 380 workers.

According to the farm’s owner, Nelson Rodrigues, more than 15-ton boxes of the harvested tomatoes have been shipped so far.

Rodriguez, during an interview with the local newspaper, informed that each box will be sold in the field for five thousand kwanzas.

He also mentioned that while they will be shipping the fresh produce to the country’s capital, Luanda, which is the largest consumer market for tomatoes, other markets like April 04 and Calumba, in the province of Benguela, will also receive the goods.

Other goods in line for the fresh produce market include five hectares of peppers, ten hectares of sweet potatoes, and 50 hectares of bananas.

He noted that Dombe Grande resumed tomato production seven years after the Tuta Absoluta plague and is looking to get into large-scale auger production soon.

He believes that large-scale tomato production in the commune will require intensive mechanization, such as the installation of cold rooms and the reactivation of the processing plant, which has been dormant for nearly 10 years.

Financial support through bank financing has been crucial in elevating the farm business.

Nelson Rodriguez announced that he has immensely benefited from the Angolan Development Bank (BDA), which has provided him with a significant boost for his large-scale fresh produce farming.

Through BDA’s credit support, he has also been able to produce 120 hectares of beans, Rodriguez continued.

Nelson Rodrigues has invested approximately 50 million kwanzas in tomato production alone, at a cost of around three million per hectare.

One of the challenges faced in the production process, according to Rodriguez, is the high cost of fertilizer, which has been further exacerbated by the devaluation of the currency.

“The price of fuel is a concern,” added Rodriguez, “because the commune of Dombe Grande has no access to power from grid.”

He went on to lament that NR farm spends 800 liters of diesel a week to ensure smooth operation of motor pumps and other equipment.

Given this production dynamic, it is crucial for the government to pay close attention to the farming community by providing them with more credits.

This initiative, as per Rodriguez, will enable them to increase production, ensure food self-sufficiency, and generate jobs.

For all the latest fresh produce industry news updates from Africa, Middle East and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.