Africa-focused Obtala Resources has announced a deal to establish a dried fruits business in Tanzania, which is part of a move from a focus on gems and chemicals to agribusiness and timber. It is quite interesting that companies that have been in Africa for other business opportunities are now changing their business emphasis to agriculture, where they see a potential big return on investment.

The IFA online magazine broke the news that Obtala Resources has tied in with a local partner to set up operating, managing and marketing of dried fruit from growing trees on 617 hectares of agricultural land in Tanzania. The land has 1,500 fruit bearing mango trees and plans are to plant other high-yielding and high-value fruit trees. The operation is being touted as one that will utilize “up-to-date farming practices and irrigation to optimize margins and produce revenues all year round.”

The dried product will be sold locally and into the export market, which is the real potential for return on investment.

This dried-fruit project is close to a sun-dried tomato farm that Obtala Resources is also involved with. The first production of sun-dried tomatoes is scheduled for November, IFA magazine reported.

There is also a recently announced cannery operation planned, which an Obtala spokesman is quoted as saying, shows the company becoming an “African focused agribusiness and timber trading company with the focus on developing a vertically integrated company that will reap the benefits of value added production and branding.”

Awareness of Obtala Resources’ change in focus was brought to the attention of U.S. businesses by GAI Research and Insight News as part of HighQuest Partners.