How to Start a Tomato Processing Plant in Nigeria
Is there anybody who does not use tomato in Nigeria? If there is any, then it is going to be one out of 1 billion. This is not an exaggeration, it is a fact. Everybody uses tomatoes and so, starting a tomato processing plant in Nigeria wouldn’t be bad for business.
Tomatoes can be consumed in its raw state, it is cheap and affordable and even available to all classes of people. They are very rich in fiber, contain healthy vitamins and it has little or no trace of cholesterol. Phyto-chemicals fight diseases and tomatoes contain them.
Apart from the fact that people eat tomatoes raw, it can also be processed and consumed. They are also used for the preparation of things such as salads, drinks, pizza, tomato soup, and sauces.
The thing is, tomatoes are found in abundance in most parts of Africa and Nigeria in particular. As a result, you can decide to establish your own tomato processing plant here in Nigeria.
It should be stated for emphasis that starting a tomato processing plant requires huge capital. You should take heart however in the fact that there is a large market for processed tomato products and this means more profit.
The following are the ideal products from a tomato processing plant; the popular ketchup, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato powder, tomato paste, tomato pulp, strained tomatoes, partially dehydrated tomatoes, etc.
Below, therefore, are important tips on how to start a tomato processing plant in Nigeria.
Also read: how to start a rabbit farm in Nigeria
Tips on starting a tomato processing plant
Carry out a critical feasibility study
Carrying out a feasibility study is in your best interest if you will start a tomato processing plant. You need to be sure of where you are throwing your money into. Feasibility study unravels a lot of things to you and guides your decisions on them.
It helps to understand how to access raw materials, the best ways to reduce the cost of productions and maximize profits.
Feasibility studies show you that you are ready or you are not ready to start your tomato processing plant as at the time you want to start it. The good thing about feasibility studies is that if it is properly done, it gives you all the positive and negative options you are likely going to face with your proposed project and it guides you in the long run to take the right decisions.
Register Your Company and Obtain the Required License
You have to undergo the necessary registration when you want to start a tomato processing plant. This is important for legitimacy and because it deals with what people eat and drink. Ensure you go through the necessary authorities to get registered and also get the requisite license.
Choose a Suitable Location to Build Your Plant
The environment where the plant is situated goes a long way in determining the success of the tomato processing plant. You have to choose the location wisely as it will determine the success rate of the company.
You have to focus on nearness to tomato farms/ plantations, nearness to the source of cheap labor, as well as proximity to the market when choosing a location for your plant. You will also need to consider the proximity to transportation outlets when choosing your location.
Install All the Required Equipment and Machinery
The tomato processing plant will not run itself. Even when you have the location, you will need to put up instruments, equipment, and machinery which will enable perform the necessary functions in the plant.
The equipment needed are many and are varied. They include power generating set, High-Pressure Pumps and Homogenizers, Evaporators, Extractors, Separators, Cross-Flow Membrane Filtration Systems, Spray Dryers, Freeze Dryers, Integrated Belt Dryers, Agglomerators, Clarifiers and Decanters, and Complete tomato powder conveying and Packaging lines.
Hire Competent Hands
The human resources is another aspect of the business you will need to consider when you want to start a tomato processing plant. It doesn’t require high tech skills but it does need your employees to be focused and competent. Be careful when hiring to ensure you get competent hands.
You will just need to hire a few experts who are able to handle operating processes of a tomato processing plant. You have to find a way to blend your experienced hands and rookies.
Be Detailed With Your Packaging
The packaging is very crucial to a businessman irrespective of the kind of business you chose to join. For tomato products, you can choose to use a satchel, bottles, or even plastic. The style is not the issue here, any style you choose has done with precision to ensure that the product is unique and appealing.
Explore Both Local and International Market
During marketing which is an integral part of starting a tomato processing plant, you have to explore both local and international market. You can also involve in offline and online advertisement.
The truth is that if your products are good and of international standards, then with a little push; you can easily break into the global market. Processed tomato can be exported to every nook and cranny of the international community without much restriction.