Bahir Dar and its surrounding areas are using its potential for fruit and vegetable production nearly throughout the year both in rain fed and irrigation means. Among these fruits and vegetables tomato is the most perishable crop due to its high moisture content and soft texture subject to easy bruising/rotting and hence resulting in short shelf life. Particularly during the seasons when the farmers are relatively free from other agricultural activities, they are highly engaged in irrigation based tomato and other fruits and vegetable production. During this time the land is also free from major staple crops. Traditional irrigation is becoming more and more common in areas around Woreta and expansion of modern irrigation schemes by government mainly in Koga area has led to increase of production. Additionally improved seed availability and improvement of farming activities plays a great deal towards further increase in production.
Related to the glut production during this irrigation time, the price of tomato falls dramatically. As a result, it is common to see the excess tomato remain either unharvested or remains unused. Tomato is very much appreciated and nearly available on almost every dish especially during the Ethiopian fasting season. Tomato is also highly appreciated for its medical value related to its high content of lycopene among others.
Although the trend in increasing production and productivity is important, the tremendous effort to increase production and productivity is being discouraged due to lack of the value addition conservation of the product. This is particularly very important in such highly perishable agricultural products as tomato. Due to this problem, there are various tomato pastes imported from various countries of the world.
Thus to enable this excess product to be available off season and boost income generation related to value addition, it is worth considering an easier means of further processing which is within the reach of farmers and small scale entrepreneurs.
Therefore this project aims at constructing of tomato paste maker which is simple and possibly transferable technology to the local manufacturers. Therefore in addition to the tomato paste production/value addition, the metal worker will also benefit from the technology transfer.
Project team members:
Dr. Solomon Tesfamariam (SMIE)
Dr. Eneyew Tadesse (SCFE)
Ato Amlakie Alemu (SMIE)
Ato Admasu Fanta (SCFE)