The federal government (FG) has said tomato pastes won’t be imported into Nigeria again, as new measures have been taken to begin larger productions.
Speaking at a tour of the Dangote Tomato Processing Plant in Kadawa, Kano State, Minister of Agriculture and Resources, Audi Ogbeh said the ban will boost more productions of tomato paste, according to the Cable.
“The federal government has set aside N250 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank Agriculture to disburse as soft loans to tomato farmers as part of the Anchor Borrower scheme.
“Federal government will continue to encourage Dangote agro-farms and the farmers to grow massive tomatoes in Nigeria and with this kind of outfit, farmers will earn more with better seedlings from the Dangote greenhouse and get better results,” Ogbeh said.
“The farmers will supply to the processor and eventually join tomato breeders in the world. In a short while, Nigeria will simply stop importation and dependence on other sources for tomato supply.”
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Nigeria’s apex bank, the CBN said; “the bank supported Dangote greenhouse with N1.3billion to produce hybrid tomato seedlings to enhance massive local cultivation.
“The greenhouse plant will produce 3 million seedlings which will supply to farmers. With this hybrid tomato seedling, farmers will be able to produce over 70,000 tons per hectare against the 10,000 tons.”
“To this end, this output will encourage farmers to increase their production and provide job opportunity. Let me emphasize the federal government ban on those foods and other items we can produce in this country still remain on the banning list,” he said, according to the report.
The Dangote Tomato Paste Plant, worth $20million was launched in 2016 by the conglomerate. An attack by Tuta absoluta, a plant moth that has a deleterious effect on tomatoes ensured the company had to shelve productions for some time.