A meaningful and constructive solution for managing tomato waste has been found. Kolar Deputy Commissioner K.V. Trilokchandra has conceived an idea of converting tomato into animal fodder. He has submitted a plan to the State government, which has given the green signal for setting up a plant at the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard in Kolar.
Mr. Trilokchandra got the idea after seeing a huge quantity of the vegetable being abandoned at the yard, one of the largest tomato marketing yards in Asia. On an average, transactions involving 150-200 tonnes take place every day during lean season. About 15 tonnes are wasted during loading and unloading. At the same time, farmers dump huge quantities of tomatoes on the roadside when there is a glut. Now, this will be fed into the plant that will turn it into a lycopene-rich meal for poultry, cattle, pig, and fish. The plant is coming up on a 5,000 sq. ft. site at a cost of Rs. 1 crore and expected to produce around 20 tonnes of fodder every month, Mr. Trilokchandra said told The Hindu . The plant would be the first of its kind in the country, he said and added that the State government will provide money under the Challenge Fund, which is meant to encourage innovative projects.
Lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family, which gives the red colour to tomatoes. It would be the main ingredient to produce the feed.
The manufacture of fodder from tomato involves the following steps: Crushing waste through a roller, expeller and vibrator; dewatering of solid residue using a water extractor (centrifuge); cooking of solid residue using microwave reactor and dehydration of the cooked solid residue using alcohol in a microwave reactor.