How to start tomato paste production business in Africa.
The tomato is a major vegetable crop that has achieve tremendous popularity over the last century. It is grown in practically every country of the world – in outdoor fields, greenhouses and nethouses. The tomato plant is very versatile and the crop can be divided into two categories; fresh market tomatoes, which we are concerned with and processing tomatoes, which are grown only outdoors for the canning industry and mechanically harvested. In both cases, world production and consumption has grown quite rapidly over the past 25 years.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Tomato is a common fruit or vegetable which is consumed in all parts of the world. It is a popular food in every household in Africa.
Tomato past business has been a money spinner for ages due to the fact that almost everybody eats the vegetable. All over Africa tomato is a produce that can turn you to a millionaire in no time if you follow all the necessary protocols while doing the business it.
In Nigeria for example, tomato farming is predominantly done in the northern part of the country. Most states in the north like Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Zamfara and Kogi have huge tomato plantations. So this makes the product readily available for your tomato paste business if you are considering Nigeria as location for your business. In the vein it is also available in every other part of Africa, like Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, South Africa, Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, and so on.
Tomato can be consumed in its raw state as a fruit, likewise can be ground along with pepper for cooking. It can as well be processed into other forms such as tin tomato paste, sauce, puree.
In today’s post, we will focus on the processing aspect of its consumption. We will take you through the course of how to start tomato paste production business in Africa.
First of all, you need to take note that tomato paste production business requires a huge start-up capital for you to successfully kick start. It is however a very profitable business, hence, be rest assured to get huge returns.
The following are the crucial steps you need to take when you are ready to start the business:
1 Make Research.
This involves gathering facts on figures and viability of the business. Obviously, you are trying to avoid making notable mistakes or squandering of funds. If properly carried out, the result from a good feasibility study would help you understand all the costs you will probably need in setting up your tomato paste production business, how best to cut costs and maximize your profits, your expected return on investment and a whole lot more. Doing a thorough research beforehand bring to your knowledge the pros and cons of the business whivh will guide you in decision making.
2 Go Legal
Start-up involves registration and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits from necessary bodies. This is majorly because it is a consumable product. It is best if you make inquiries from already established tomato paste production businesses in the country concerning the license and permits you will need for your business. For example in the case of Nigeria business is highly regulated by NAFDAC.
3 Get Good Location
A good location will contribute to the success of your business. When choosing a land, you need to consider some trigent factors such as
- Closeness to source of raw material (majorly fresh tomato farms).
- Closeness to markets.
- Availability of work force.
4 Acquire Necessary Equipments
The next step is to get the needed equipments for your tomato paste production business. Also ensure you get competent engineers to do the installation of the machines. Below is a list of the necessary equipments you will need for the business:
- Fruit Washer
- Fine Pulper
- Steam Jacketed Kettles
- Screw Pump
- RSSP Cooler
- Storage Tank
- SS Tank
- Tomato Paste Form Fill and Seal Machine
- Fruit Mill
- Steam Piping
- Steam Pressure Reducing Station
- Product Piping and Valves
- Cooling Tower Pump and Piping
- Water Piping
- Water Chiller
- Delivery Truck
5 Source for Raw Materials
It is advisable to situate your tomato paste production business close to one or two tomato farms. This is to cut back on the cost of transportation.
Although you will need other raw materials such as preservatives, the major raw material you will need for your business are fresh tomatoes. You must make sure you get very fresh tomatoes so as to ensure great product quality and taste.
6 Employ Experienced & Qualified Staff
Tomato paste production is a sensitive business as it pertains to food and health, hence, you must ensure strict quality control throughout the whole process. Putting this into consideration, you need to hire only experienced and capable hands to handle the production and packaging section. You will need a combo of skilled and unskilled workers ranging from engineers, accountants, computer operators, sales and marketing executives to semi skilled and unskilled workers.
However, you will not have to worry much about paying them since the business generates great profits when handled properly, and so you will not have to break the bank just to your workers.
7 Packaging idea
Packaging is very important when it comes to selling your products in Africa. You may have a great product, with great taste, but it is actually the packaging that will make the first and lasting impression on customers. In fact, it is the packaging that makes the difference between one tin tomato brand and the other. You need to clarify your mode of packaging i.e. Do you want to use tins, sachets, bottles or all.
8 Identify your Market
You need to identify the market including both your target market and your competitors. Fine! Almost every African household makes use of tin tomato, but it is vital you are very specific about your target market. Your target market should include the following:
- Food processors
- Hotels and Restaurants
- Households and individuals
- Market Women
- Supermarket and grocery stores