Rombo — A LONG awaited fruit processing facility in the Northern Zone is now in the offing. The stage is set for Bellaview Fresh Fruit (BFF), which is owned by Tanzanians to start production this October in Rombo District in Moshi.
Speaking to the 'Daily News' at Mkuu, Rombo recently, the main shareholder and Managing Director, Mr Shanel Ngowi said he was delighted that at last his dream was being achieved.
Already the company has 100 employees in place and is reviewing their productivity before a decision is arrived at, whether or not to hire more in light of the new production.
Mr Ngowi contemplates to up the number to 150. "The company has four shareholders - family based, it was established in 2010 targeting to tap fruits and process them in different levels.
We had a one year machine orientation for producing water and now the second stage is fruits processing from October," said the proprietor. For a long time there has been a cry from fruit farmers in the Northern Zone, mainly Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions over lack of a processing plant that saw their produce get rotten in farms.
BFF will start to process mangoes, then move to orange, pineapple and passion fruits. Sequa is a brand of drinking water that the company is producing and is supplied for sale in different regions, some of which are Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Singida, Tabora, Mwanza, Geita, Manyara, Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mbeya.
"After a long market survey in packaging, branding and other areas we have decided to start production. "We had to follow all procedures, we qualify for ISO certificate and we wanted to bring to the market authentic products, that is why we have these guys (expatriates) around to assure the standards are alright," said the MD.
Selected varieties of mango are grown around Rombo District, but in the meantime the plant will start production by outsourcing the raw materials.
Fruit juice, pulp and concentration are some of the products from such plants under different methods focused on preserving the organoleptic, physical and aromatic characteristics of the processed fruit in order to produce a juice of high quality.
Mr Ngowi called on his fellow businessmen in the country to unite and fight for a common cause, noting that they are not competing against each other, but in a global economy they should join forces for betterment of Tanzania as a country and her citizens.
"I found out that the best area for me to invest is in agriculture and manufacturing, in the global economy Tanzanians need to go to a next level to compete with foreigners," he noted.
Citing an example, Mr Ngowi said there is a huge demand of processed goods from Tanzania and noted it would be easier if there was a group of people working together to that cause so thst they can save transport costs. "I have water and juice, but I may not have other goods that they need from Tanzania.
If we join hands, we can export as an entity instead of everybody going on his own ... Chinese do it together, why not us," he said.
In its notice to the public regarding packaged bottled drinking water, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) lists Bellaview Fresh Fruits Processing Industry Limited among 57 companies that have been certified by the bureau.