ANGOLA – The Dombe Grande tomato concentrate factory, in Benguela, is finally set to begin operations in March 2024, nine years after the completion of the construction work.

The unit has a processing capacity of 150 tons of tomatoes per day to produce canned tomato puree.

According to information relayed by the Angolan Press Agency (Angop), the management of the agro-industrial complex, which has long remained under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, will now come under the control of the private group Adérito Areias.

“The production units are currently being re-equipped by Spanish technicians, as equipment such as cables and electric motors have been vandalized and removed. We are making a huge effort, at our own expense, to recover this plant,” says José Areias, the company’s CEO.

While tomato production in the region is considered insufficient to continuously supply the Dombe Grande plant, the Adérito Areias group plans to source other fruit crops to diversify into jam-making. 

“This new strategy will help avoid the waste of crops in this commune and increase the income of producers,” adds Mr. Areias.

Meanwhile, in 2022, Angolan company DNMJ started the construction of a USD 1.4 million worth of tomato processing factory in Lumueno, Angola. 

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

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 the availability of the needed raw material, the company has entered into a contractual agreement with 49 tomato growers in the region, in addition to its raw material production from its 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.

Tomatoes 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 to fetch higher prices in the market.

The concept has been widely adopted across Africa recently in Kenya, Kirinyaga County Governor, Anne Waiguru led the county in signing a deal with an investor who will put up a tomato factory at the upcoming Sagana Industrial Park.

The investor, who is coming under the Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) program, will commence the process of setting up the factory immediately.

Waiguru said the factory will address the issue of post-harvest losses, the biggest challenge faced by tomato farmers who have been losing up to 40pc of their harvest. She said that since the factory will uptake 100pc of their produce, farmers will now have better returns.

“Our tomato production has continued to rise steadily from an annual production of 46,000 metric tons in 2017 to 116,000 metric tons in 2022 earning our farmers approx. KES 6.9 billion (USD 44.99 million) annually,” said the governor.

According to her, this has been achieved through the county’s well-thought-out plan to support farmers’ capacity in production areas such as seedlings propagation, and switching high-yielding tomato seedlings.

“The strategies also include supplying disease tolerant seedlings, and investing in modern technologies such as greenhouse production, and drip irrigation among other water-saving technologies,” concluded the governor.

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