In pics: Highlighting season of tomatoe drying in Egypt’s Luxor

Egypt Today monitored a special magic that brings together workers to harvest tomatoes during the winter season, preparing them for cutting and drying on sawmills, and collecting them in sacks until they are prepared for export abroad.

At the mean time, Upper Egypt’s Governorate of Luxor witnesses the continuation of work in tomato farms in the Luxor Mountains annually, starting from January until early May, as the tomato crop is the second most important winter crop after sugar cane.

In this regard, Eng. Abdel Karim Diab, who is in charge of the dried tomatoes sawmill at the sorting station of Wadi Al-Naseem, and the head of the Al-Mataana Association for the Development of Urban Communities, says that in that period of the year everyone approaches the end of harvesting and sorting the tomato crop for sale.

“The best tomatoes are dried in drying sawmills spread throughout Luxor for export abroad. The tomato crop is one of the important crops that are widely cultivated in the city of Esna and Luxor in a large way, as it achieves great profit and covers the costs and services of agriculture, where tomatoes are included in various foods in homes,” he added. 

He further noted that an acre of tomator crop produces between 30 and 40 tons of tomatoes, according to the quality of the land, and the irrigation of the crop.

And the engineer, Abdel Karim Diab, added that the station is funded by the American aid agency as an in-kind grant for the people of the city, as they do contract farming, where tomatoes are sorted, then washed, cut and sorted to reach the sawmills.

Then comes the phase of drying, then collecting and sorting in different levels, then packing inside the sorting station according to the desire of the importer from abroad, wheither in cans or large sacks containing the required quantities of tomatoes.

He also explained that the dried tomatoes target two markets: the Italian one, and currently it is being prepared for export to the Brazilian market. There are 3 associations participating in that sawmill, which aims primarily for development and opening a way to create job opportunities through work in agricultural production.

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