Local avocado oil firm in Tanzania is said to be adding value to farm produce.
This is coming as Zimbabwean farmers are being encouraged to grow passion fruit.
Marketing experts are claiming that the fruit has a ready foreign market. This was confirmed by Anglistone Sibanda, the chief executive officer of Green Afrique Technologies, during a training workshop for farmers interested in becoming passion fruit growers for the export market.
“We are saying farmers must diversify and have products that have a ready and high-paying export market. There is great demand for Zimbabwean horticultural products in Europe, with passion fruit being one of the most sought after products,” Sibanda said at the workshop.
Green Afrique Technologies is an agricultural, marketing and research firm that is actively marketing passion fruit in the country. Better known as granadilla, passion fruit is a highly nutritious tropical plant that traces its origins to South America. It is a rich source of powerful antioxidants and has various health benefits.
Sundaymail.co.zw states there is huge demand for Zimbabwe’s horticultural products across the globe, especially in the European markets.
In the mean time, the Dar es Salaam-based Nzallacado Oil Company ventured into fruit farming in 2005, originally thinking to sell the farm products locally.
The firm’s founders – the Shafia Nzallawahe family – cultivated a 5-ha farm on which they grew the Hass and Fuerte avocado varieties. Seven years after the company started farming these avocados, harvesting of the same started. However, new varieties found it difficult to penetrate the Tanzanian market, as consumers still favored the traditional varieties.
That meant the Nzallawahe family was compelled to lower the prices of their avocados, their high quality production costs notwithstanding. That is why they then started making avocado oil, manually, at home.
This entailed boiling the raw material from the fruit in pots and filtering the oil by hand. However, the quality of the processed oil wasn’t particularly impressive, and they decided to seek relevant skills and technological applications from the Small Industries Development Organisation.
The family company’s current production capacity is higher than the 100 litres which the family was producing manually in the early days. But a major challenge confronting the Nzallacado Company is a stable market for its products.
Indeed, Nzallawahe told The Citizen that they are currently producing under-capacity due to market challenges.
“We are currently producing only seven tons of avocado oil, while our full production capacity is 20 tons per harvest season,” he states. “The market potential is promising. But our products are still new to most Tanzanians. I hope to get a market expert or company that would promote our products and expand our market size. I’m ready to share the profits.”