Katsina indigenous company begins commercial processing of tomatoe paste
A Katsina indigenous company, ALDUSAR food and beverages, has concluded plans to commence commercial operation of a paste, called Aldusar Tomato paste.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that a successful test run have taken place and commercial production is set to commence.
Our correspondent in the state reports that every year tones of tomato get wasted in Katsina due to absence of processing plants to converts the perishable vegetable into puree that can be use over a long period of time.
Relevant statistics have shown that Nigeria is ranked second largest producer of tomatoes in Africa and thirteen in the world, producing about 1.7m tones annually at an average 25-30 tones per hectare.
The tomato industry is one where the country has great advantage and Katsina being among the highest producers have comparative advantage.
According to Muhammadu Usman Sarki, President of Aldusar Group of Companies, the establishment of the plant is to minimize losses incurred by farmers due to lack of industries to absorb excess yield during irrigation harvest period as a result of inadequate preservation techniques and low demand when the production is high.
He said, northern Nigeria is the only place in the country that records massive production of tomatoes that are supplied to the south and neighbouring countries but there are no factories to process the produce using modern preservation techniques thereby resulting in wastages.
“Some of the goals we intend to achieve with the plant include, producing tomato paste that will meet local and export demands; substitute imported tomatoes with locally processed product to improve foreign exchange earnings as well as create more job opportunities for women and youth through the establishment of tomato farming centres,” he said.
During a visit to the plant, it was noticed that the company has already installed a production unit with a production capacity of 3 tons per hour.
A 250KVA and 150KVA electric generators and dedicated power line are in place for the energy need of the plant.
To sustain supply of tomato, the company has acquired 52 hectares of farmland for tomato production and also entered into several outgrower scheme with farmers across the state to feed its plant.
“We are optimistic and ready to go on; we had a test run of the facility and all is well, our production line is coming on board,” Mohammed Kabir Usman, a senior manager said.
We entered into partnership with farmers in which improved seeds are being farmed by our outgrowers. This system intends to keep supply coming in, he added.