Another local initiative to grow tomatoes in Gambia – Tomato Paste
The managing director of Gambia China Angola Holding Company (GACH), Sait Drammeh, has disclosed his organisation’s readiness to create more than 5,000 new jobs for farmers across the country.
Mr. Drammeh, Managing Director of The Gambia’s first tomato processing factory was speaking to The Point recently in an interview.
He said that among other things, their plan is to engage about 5,000 farmers in West Coast Region and Lower River Region in fresh tomato production.
The targeted farmers, he said, are farming communities that have access to water and protection.
“The factory specialises in tomato paste and mineral water production and will assist farmers by reducing the problems of post harvest losses for tomato producers thereby providing job opportunities for the citizenry,” he said, adding that the factory is an investment for the Gambia youth and women.
GACH Group, Drammeh explained, is incorporated to pursue opportunities in the horticulture sub-sector, through the cultivation, processing and packaging of tomato paste in The Gambia and beyond.
“The idea is to empower the people, in particular youth and women, to venture into industrialised tomato cultivation.”
According to him, the company intends to explore the advantages introduced by the ECOWAS member states such as the ECOWAS Scheme.
“We are currently getting our tomato from China to process it and sell. Therefore, GACH finds it necessary to engage Gambian famers to grow tomato to feed the factory and to meet the demands of the country in the area of tomato paste”.
We import and transform tomato paste currently sold in our local markets in The Gambia. At the moment, we are only selling in The Gambia, but plans are underway to export our products to other countries.”
Mr. Drammeh added that customers’ demand for the product at the market is very high as they have marketing unit that is responsible for the promotion of activities as well as marketing of the products.
“We have done some survey and I understand that the tomatoes that are grown in the country, the average yield which is verifiable between 25 to 30 tons per hectare; and our capacity at the factory is 120 tons per fresh tomato per day.”