Project Launch: 6-29-18
Nigeria is the 2nd largest producer of tomatoes in Africa and 14th largest tomato producer in the world yet is also the largest importer of tomato derivatives in the world with import rate worth over $360 million per year. The country produces 1.5million tons of tomatoes per year but about 45% is lost post-harvest due to poor handling, oversupply, and a lack of effective processing facilities. This project combats these challenges by processing excess harvests into tomato powder and puree for the Nigerian market using collective strength of the members of a local cooperative society whose membership is chiefly composed of women. The new enterprise will provide income for members who will use their revenue to invest in themselves and their families.
Project Update: 12-4-18
300 women have shown interest and have registered so far, four times the number that was expected. The kick-off date has been extended until December 15 while awareness is ongoing and more people show interest. The cooperative has rented a facility which will be used for continuous training and will function as a processing center for the community's women. Key equipment secured to date includes a tomato boiler/evaporator for producing tomato puree, a grinding machine which will be used to grind fresh tomatoes into pulp, a continuous band sealing machine for sealing pouches, 5000 pouches for packing tomato puree, and 200 cartons for boxing packaged products. A food dryer will be delivered in the coming week.
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