The general manager of BANATOM, the Banana juice, Tomato paste processing factory, Lt. Col Tekie Woldu, said the factory is exerting strong effort to satisfy the local market.
Indicating that the factory receives daily 5,000 quintals of organic tomatoes from the agricultural projects of Adi-Omar, Fanco-Tsimu, Gerset and Molever for processing, Lt. Col. Tekie said that the factory has created employment opportunity for the residents in the area.
The head of Technical Service at the Eritrean Crops and Livestock Corporation, Sgt. Mohammed Abdella, commending the good working relationship between the veteran workers of the factory with the newly assigned technicians said that the factory is increasing tomato paste production and supply the local market with fair price.
BanaTom factory was established in 2011 and is located in Alebu, Haikota subzone, in Gash Barka region.
The factory is making a significant contribution in creating employment opportunities and nurturing skilled manpower.
The Eritrean Government has been vigorously investing in various water harnessing schemes in the past sixteen years. Big strategic dams have been constructed in major river basins and potential catchments increase the land under irrigation.
Converting this investment into profitable project calls for private sector investment in agriculture in the country. However, priority is given to nationals and Diaspora investors, in groups, who can form cooperation and come with sufficient capital.
In Gash Barka region, for instance, there are over 160 dams, micro-dams and water catchments and diversion schemes cultivating over 100,000 hectares of land through irrigation, splash irrigation, and drip irrigation.
Agro-industries have also been put in place. Aligider, Gerset, Fanco Rawi, Fanco Tsemue, Badimit, and the newly constructed Alemayet agro-industry in Alemayet sub-region are some of the examples.
In aggregate, these dams have the capacity of holding over 300 million cubic meters of water.
Just to imagine the sheer size of these projects, the Alemayet agro-industry alone, for instance, owns over 10,000 dairy cows and over 30,000 beef cattle for meat production. It also grows wheat on 10,000 hectares of land.
Export-oriented Agro-industry projects are also expanding. The Alebu and Afimbol agro-industries, for instance, exports tomato paste directly to Europe. The Alemayet, Gerset, and Fanco agro-industries export live animals to Arab countries.
A food storage facility with a capacity to hold 2,000 tons of vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish at -10 to 10 degrees with deep-freeze is being built in Alebu by the Chinese company SFECO.