Bwengu Tomato Production and Processing

Providing fresh tomatoes in a resource-efficient production system
2015 SEED Africa Award; Government of Flanders
Sustainable Agriculture

Assisted by government officials, the sixty members of the cooperative operate a water-efficient drip irrigation instead of the traditional watering cans in order to improve water usage. Fresh tomatoes suitable for the market are sold locally, and the remaining tomatoes are processed and transformed into sauce or jam.

The production is financed by the cooperative and product marketing is coordinated by it.

The usage of drip irrigation systems curtails water consumption, and the high number of farmers using their lands for tomato plantations instead of producing charcoal is diminishing deforestation in the region.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts
Bwengu Tomato Production and Processing provide cooperative members with a stable income, and offer fresh and locally produced tomato products all year long that improves nutritional intake.
  • Offering an annual income of USD 2,000 per household involved in the production by May 2016.
  • Improving nutritional intake in the surrounding communities.
  • Providing access to fresh and locally produced tomatoes and sauce all year long. 
  • Increasing the usage of water-saving irrigation systems and encouraging better water management.
  • Deforestation is decreasing in the region since tomato plantations are becoming an alternative source of income to charcoal production in local forests.

  • Offering a more resource-efficient and therefore more profitable production system model for farmers in the region.




Bwengu Tomato Production and Processing is a cooperative-led initiative with a resource-efficient structure to produce and process tomatoes. The drip irrigation system adopted saves water, and the processing plant reduces wasted produce to almost zero. Members of the cooperative benefit from higher income as well as access to fresh and locally produced tomatoes around the year, increasing nutritional intake in local communities.

Bwengu Tomato Production and Processing is a cooperative that uses a resource-efficient structure to produce and process tomatoes, providing labour and land.

Malawi Irrigation Department oversees the installation of the irrigation systems and trains local farmers in water management and crop production.

OVOP is responsible for organizing the cooperative, offering training in market identification and processing skills, and providing processing equipment.