ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
FOR a long time, small-scale farmers have bemoaned the lack of a market for their tomatoes that usually go to waste when the market is over-supplied and commodity prices drop.
It is heartbreaking for a farmer, after months of hard work, to throw heaps of tomatoes because it has gone bad.
Nonetheless, the story is now different for small-scale tomato farmers in Chibombo district who are guaranteed of ready market by the New Apostolic Church Relief Organisation (NACRO) at its tomato paste factory there.
NARCO, owned by the New Apostolic Church, started producing tomato paste called Zamfield last year and since then, they have been buying tomatoes from small-scale farmers in Chibombo and other districts like Kafue, Chongwe, Lusaka, Rufunsa, Chisamba and Mwembeshi.
Kingsley Chibambo, 64, a tomato farmer in Chibombo, is one of the 5,000 farmers in Zambia that are benefiting from the tomato market that has been created by NACRO.
He says since the tomato paste factory opened in Chibombo, he has been supplying them 20 to 60 boxes of tomatoes per harvest.
“I started this business a long time ago. I started growing tomatoes in 1980, I used to sell a lot 10 years ago, but with tme, a lot of people started doing this business. So I had a challenge finding a market CLICK TO READ MORE