Fresh startThis article was originally published in Foodnews
A TOMATO paste plant has been reopened in Iloco Sur, the Philippines, in order to help alleviate the economic conditions of the farmers and create more job opportunities. Governor Luis Singson said that a group of Italian investors joined the provincial government in operating the plant under a supervised credit scheme that provides all the farm inputs, financial assistance and marketing, the Philippine Information Agency reported. The factory, established in 1997, is now operating smoothly with a pilot area of 280 hectares farmed with tomato, and is geared for 800-1 000 ha next season, said operations manager, Madeline Arce. The plant will process 3 000 tonnes of fresh tomato daily, and modern technology will be introduced to guarantee superior product quality, the operations manager stressed. The provincial government, the prime mover in the programme, is providing equity funds and has guaranteed the repayment of the medium-term project loan.