People & Money

Dangote Tomato Firm Demands Ban of Tomato Importation

The Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing plant, Kadawa, Kano State, Abdulkarim Kaita, has called on the Nigerian government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato paste into the country.

Kaita said the call was necessary to boost local production of the commodity in Nigeria.

The Dangote official made the call at the ceremony marking 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,” the MD said.

Also Read: Nigeria Spends About $1.5 Billion Annually on Dairy Products Importation – Agric Ministry

He added that it would ensure that Nigeria was self sufficient in tomato production.

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.

The MD lamented that the importation of tomato paste was still thriving as the commodity was being imported from Cameroon and Cotonou in Benin Republic.
He added that on several occasions, the company had visited the Customs Headquarters and met the Controller General with a view to lodging complaint over 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.

Also Read: COVIDnomics: The Impact of Lockdown on Nigeria’s Agric Sector

Meanwhile, Mr Kaita 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.

“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,” he explained.

Abimbola Agboluaje

Abimbola is Managing Director of WNT Capitas . He consults on strategic communications and investment risk.

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