The Dangote Tomato Processing Company has called for immediate and outright ban of tomato importation, to support local production.
The firm made the call during the inauguration of tomato seedlings distribution to 5,000 farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme at Kadawa, Kura Local Government Area of Kano State.
The company has asked the Federal Government to place a ban on importation of tomato paste into the country.
The Managing Director, Mr. Abdulkarim Kaita, during the inauguration said: “We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice”.
He stated the stoppage would not only boost local production of the commodity but guarantee its self-sufficiency as well.
Kaita also noted that the move would encourage development of more tomato processing plants, which will also boost more jobs opportunities.
He hinted that importation of tomato still find their way into Nigeria from Cameroun and Cotonou, Benin Republic.
“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,” Kaita said.
He added that the firm is partnering with the CBN towards providing tomato farmers with high yield seeds that are hoped to produce at least 40 tons per hectare.
According to him; “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”.