Zimbabwe's Best Fruits launches tomato paste for export

Best Fruit Processors launched its tomato paste line last week. The company, which is a joint venture between Schweppes Zimbabwe’s 100 percent owned Beitbridge Juicing Co and the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, started a trial in January processing mango and guava and has now gone into full scale production of tomato paste, mainly for export markets. 

The company, which was revived following an injection of $2.4 million is expected to generate $4.6 million in revenue this year. The overall market share for the business was expected to grow in the next five years, largely driven by exports, which will contribute 88 percent of revenue in the next five year, according to the company.

It is processing about 100 tonnes of tomatoes per day. To ensure an uninterrupted supply of raw material, the company will engage more than 3 000 farmers to grow tomatoes. In partnership with Arda, the company is looking at developing 300 hectares of tomatoes, 200 ha of oranges and 200 ha of mangoes at Arda Sanyati Estate, the company said.

At Arda Nijo Estate, 40 ha of passion fruit will be established. BFP, through an arrangement with some local financial institutions will be assisting contracted farmers with inputs such as appropriate variety seeds and seedlings, chemicals and fertilizers.

The company plans to spend about $2 million this year on a plant upgrade and working capital to support the Norton plant. A number of jobs have been created and the outgrower scheme is expected to create thousands more.

Source: herald.co.zw

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