PRAN, one of the biggest agro-processors in the country, is collecting tomatoes from the farmers of the different districts especially from the northern areas to manufacture tomato-based products including sauce and ketchup.
PRAN sets target to procure 12,000 metric tons of tomatoes for the season. The conglomerate has started collecting and pulping tomatoes in its plants at PRAN Agro Ltd factory in Natore and Barind (Varendra) Industrial Park in Rajshahi at the end of January and it will continue till the availability of the tomatoes, says a press release.
PRAN is collecting tomatoes from its contract farmers and it has around 10500 contract farmers in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Bogra, Pabna, Natore, Khulna, and some other districts this year.
Sarowar Hossain, General Manager of Barind Industrial Park said, “Lots of tomatoes are cultivated in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Natore, and surrounding districts. We have started collecting and pulping tomatoes in full swing like the previous years.”
He also added that this year, the contract farmers of PRAN has cultivated tomatoes for around 1000 bighas of land. After receiving the tomatoes at our factory, tomatoes are taken to our automatic machine which later turns into tomato paste. The paste is preserved in an aseptic system.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, Director (Marketing) at PRAN-RFL group said, “PRAN always gives the highest importance to maintain quality and the quality of the products largely depends on the raw materials. Considering this, PRAN started contractual cultivation of tomatoes in 2010 and working intensively with farmers, and the representatives of PRAN are giving training and consultancy and providing instrument-related support to the farmers. As a result, farmers get bumper crops from per bigha land and become financially benefited in the season.”
He also added that sauce and ketchup, manufactured from tomatoes, are very popular in Bangladesh and many other countries. Presently, PRAN exports its sauce and ketchup to many countries including India, Malaysia, UAE, USA, Italy and Sweden. PRAN is also trying to spread the market. If the demand increases in the world market, farmers will be able to earn more.