Dangote distributes tomato seedling to 5,000 farmers to boost local production
Dangote Tomato Processing Plant has distributed tomato seedlings to 5,000 farmers participating in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention funding under the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The distribution of the tomato seedling to farmers at Kadawa village in Kura Local Government Area of Kano was supervised by the managing director of the Dangote Tomato Processing firm, Abdulkarim Kaita to help boost local growing and production of tomato paste in the country.
Kaita, while flagging off the distribution urged the federal government to impose ban on the importation of tomato paste into the country to encourage local farmers to increase the production of the commodity.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice,” Kaita said.
He said the ban will boost local production of the commodity and ensure that Nigeria become self-sufficient in tomato production.
The on the importation of tomato paste, according to him would lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants, thereby creating job opportunities for many people in the country.
He said the bulk of imported tomato was from the neighbouring countries such as Cameroon and Cotonou in Benin Republic, noting that the company had on several occasions visited the Customs Headquarters and met the Controller General with a view to lodging complaint about the issue, but nothing was done to check the ugly trend.
“It is only by putting a total ban on tomato importation that the government can encourage farmers to grow the commodity for the country to be self-sufficient,” he said.
He said the company was working with the CBN under the Anchor Borrowers Programme to provide tomato farmers with high yield seeds which would enable them to produce a minimum of 40 tons per hectare.
The company, he mentioned, was putting a lot of effort to ensure that Nigeria was self-sufficient in tomato production by establishing the biggest greenhouse in Africa, which had the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
“There are 12 major tomato producing states in the country which if fully cultivated, in the next one year Nigeria will be able to start exporting tomato.”