Setting up a Tomato Learning and Service Center
In partnership with a public/private sector entity, the project aims to develop a tomato learning and service center (TLSC) that can act as knowledge and innovation hub for the tomato processing industry. The center would offer training service, advisory services as well as introduce new tomato products and innovative production technology. The center will have a pilot production facility that is capable of producing new tomato products as well as an on-hand training center for members of the tomato industry and MSME.
The delivered training program for workers, technicians and managers will be designed in consultation with the private sector and based on a thorough skills gap analysis of the tomato processing sector. Similarly, the scope of services of the TLSC will be market driven and in line with the recommendations and inputs of all stakeholders.
The project will ensure that the TLSC will be sustained upon project completion; this will be considered throughout implementation from the selection of a suitable host institution to the development of a thorough business plan for the center, including a cost-recovery system.
The project will establish the Tomato Learning and Service Center (TLSC) to launch training courses, production trials and demonstrations, and provide advisory services on tomato processing to the industry. The TLSC will be set up in such a way that it can be easily replicated in the other areas, for other products or reproduced by the private sector. The TLSC will be equipped with a fully functional production facility, offering new and specialized training to workers, technicians and managers as well as a range of new services to the processing sector. The TLSC production facility will represent a model production facility, ensuring quality and safety of production at all levels from raw material to final products. On another note, the TLSC will be placed within an institution that can ensure sustainability beyond project completion. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a public private partnership approach, where the involvement and engagement of the private sector is seen critical for the sustainability of the TLSC.
The following services are envisioned to be provided by the TLSC:
Consultancy and advisory services: the TLSC will provide advisory services to tomato growers concerning the best practices in tomato growing such as mechanized agriculture techniques and safe use of pesticides, in addition to other consultancy services such as feasibility studies and business planning.
Training and technical capacity building: the TLSC will design trainings content and conduct technical capacity building for the industrial individuals and tomato processors on the recent technology of tomato processing.
Product development and innovation: one of the main services of the TLSC is presenting new recipes for tomato products and innovative ideas for packing of products.
Market access studies: some of the tomato processors search for market access studies to identify any potential opportunities for their products in new markets. In addition to understating the dynamics of the markets where they export their production.
Pilot production unit and demonstration plot: the center will include a pilot production unit for trials on new products and new production techniques; furthermore, it will also include small scale commercial production for revenue generation for TLSC. On the other hand, it will include a demonstration plot (land) to show the growers different methods in agriculture using machinery or any other good practices of tomato farming.
Exact scope services will be further defined with different stakeholders, the selected host institution and in line with the recommendations of the business plan.
Main TLSC Beneficiaries:
The TLSC will provide its services to the entire tomato value chain with specific focus on processing sector.
The following are the main beneficiaries of the TLSC:
Primary producers: they are the first part of the tomato value chain which includes tomato growers either individual farmers, agriculture cooperatives, agriculture companies or fresh tomato suppliers to the factories.
Tomato processors: they are the final part in the value chain and they are divided into three main categories; processors of tomato concentrate, convertors of tomato concentrate to end products and sundried tomato processors.
Entrepreneurs / new and existing employees in the sector / students: the center will focus on the individuals also at the tomato value chain in Egypt such as Industrial individuals and students who start their career in this field, in addition to entrepreneurs who start their new small businesses
Community associations: this category refers to women associations and local development associations that work on the economic empowerment of poorest families to improve their incomes through teaching them new crafts and enabling them to start their own small project.