The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has described as a waste of scarce resource the expenditure of N11.7 billion on annual basis for importation of tomato paste.
MAN observed the situation is worrisome given the fact that Nigeria has huge land mass suitable for the cultivation of tomato.
The Associations president Frank Jacobs said Nigeria is the second largest producer of tomato in Africa and 13th in the world but spends N11.7billion yearly on the importation of tomato paste.
“Sadly, about 750,000 of the tomatoes harvested in Nigeria go to waste as a result of poor Food Supply Chain (FSC) management, price instability, and the supply preference of farmers and middlemen for urban markets than processors due to low farm gate prices”, Jacobs said.
The Managing Director of Sonia Food Industries, Mr. Nnamdi Nnodebe, has called on the Federal Government to grant indigenous manufacturers 18 months window to backwardly integrate, adding that they should also be granted access to foreign exchange (forex).