An agro-processing startup in Nigeria focused on the local production of high-quality tomato paste for the African market, Tomato Jos, has secured a whopping €3.9 million to bolster growth.
Tomato Jos will work with thousands of smallholder farmers on over 2,600 hectares of land, putting more than $1million of direct income into the local economy each year. Growth plans include the installation of a drip irrigation system and a processing plant that can produce 24 tons of finished product per day.
Reacting to the development, Founder and CEO of Tomato Jos, Mira Mehta, in a recent statement made available on the company’s website, said: “Processing has always been the plan for Tomato Jos, but to get there, we spent a long five years working only on farming and primary production to make sure that we had a really solid foundation in place”, commented Mira Mehta, founder and CEO of Tomato Jos, on the investment. “Everyone at the company is extremely excited to take this big step forward into the world of food processing and value-add production.
“I am really excited to partner with investors who understand and care about who Tomato Jos is, what we are trying to accomplish, and why this work matters so much.”
While Nigeria is the second-largest producer of tomatoes on the continent, farming inefficiencies create a demand-supply gap resulting in Nigeria also being one of the biggest importers of tomato paste in the world. Tomato Jos works to increase yields and incomes of the local smallholder tomato farmers it works with, boosting the sector with an improved capacity of farmers, reduced post-harvest losses, and a high-quality product.
Tomato Jos was founded in 2014 with the vision to create and retain local value-add to the tomato value chain, reduce post-harvest losses, and improve the lives of smallholder farmers.
Since its inception, Tomato Jos has focused on securing its supply chain through primary production. The combined €3.9 million Series A funding boosts the transition to its next stage of growth — the processing and distribution of tomato products.