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RAHMA FOODS SECURES €20M TO START MANGO, TOMATO JUICE FACTORIES

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Rahma Foods, a Gambian company owned by Alasan Ceesay, has secured €20 million in funding to establish two major factories in The Gambia for producing concentrated tomato, mango and other fruit juices.

Announcing the news on Facebook, Mr. Ceesay emphasised that this deal is a significant step toward transforming The Gambia into a food manufacturing hub in the subregion.

“Our aim is to create jobs, support communities, boost the economy, and most importantly, to be part of the Gambia’s journey to be food self-sufficient,” he said.

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He also outlined the phased plan for building the two factories and their locations:

“Phase one: Juice factory in Foni Kanfenda.

The first phase involves setting up a mango and other fruit juice production factory in Foni Kanfenda, which will be operational within the next twelve months. This factory will be a groundbreaking development in Foni, providing much-needed jobs and economic growth to one of the most deprived areas of The Gambia, yet rich in resources. The project will enhance local infrastructure, create new opportunities for the community, and foster development and hope.

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Phase two: Tomato and ketchup factory in Kiang

The second phase will see the construction of a 500,000-tonne annual capacity tomato and ketchup factory in Kiang, where Alasan Ceesay originally hails from. This project is particularly significant for the entire subregion, the country, and local farmers, especially women. It will provide a stable market for their produce, create numerous jobs, and stimulate the local economy. By supporting local farmers, Rahma Foods is empowering them and significantly improving their livelihoods for today and future generations.

These projects, which are fully funded by international partners, are crucial steps towards reducing The Gambia’s dependence on food imports. Our goal and vision at Rahma Gambia Ltd have always been to produce enough food to feed ourselves as a nation and export to other regions, making The Gambia self-sufficient and economically resilient,” he said.

Atradius, a world-leading provider of trade finance, announced the partnership with Rahma on their website. They highlighted that the mango factory will initially cater to the local market, with plans for export in the future.

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“Alasan noticed that many mango trees grow in his region, while little is done with the yield. They are largely rotting away on the ground. Until now, there was no need for the farmers to have a good yield from the mango trees, but if they can bring the mangoes to the factory, that will change. Therefore, the idea is to start helping the farmers increase their yields. The underlying idea is to give the entire region an economic boost in this way. The juice is initially intended for the local market and, in the longer term, also for export,” Atradius Dutch State Business said.

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“In addition to the mango factory, Alasan’s ambition is to help women in the region who are responsible for growing tomatoes. He wants to do this by setting up a processing production line for tomatoes,” it added.

Rahma Gambia Limited was founded in 2018 by Alasan Ceesay, Cambridge educated British-Gambian entrepreneur. The company started as an importer and distributor of food essential food products. The raw materials are purchased in bulk and repackaged into smaller packages, mainly agricultural raw materials such as rice, sugar, and milk powder. Now, a production line for mango and other local fruit juices is being added.

Atradius noted that the juice is primarily intended for the local market and, in the longer term, also for export. The intention is to help farmers increase their yields, thereby giving the entire region an economic boost.

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