Dangote Calls For A Tomato Revolution In Nigeria Just As With Rice, Wants The Importation Of Tomato Paste Banned
Abdulkarim Kaita, the Managing Director, Dangote Tomato Processing plant in Kadawa, Kano State, has called on the Federal government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato paste into the country.
Kaita made the call while flagging off the distribution of tomato seedlings to 5,000 farmers under the Anchor Borrowers programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday at Kadawa village in Kura Local Government Area.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice,”
According to him, the ban on the importation of tomato paste would lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants, thereby creating job opportunities for many people in the country. Especially so since there are 12 major tomato producing states in the country which if fully cultivated, in the next year Nigeria will be able to start exporting tomatoes itself.
He lamented that the importation of tomato paste was still thriving as the commodity was being imported from Cameroon and the 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,”
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 and that it was establishing the biggest greenhouse in Africa, which had the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
Nigeria is currently ranked 11th in the world when it comes to tomato production and is second to Egypt on the continent. China is the number one producer in the world.
Photo > Courtesy WowPlus