"Nigeria: "Still a long way to self-sufficiency in tomato production"

Nigeria is the 14th largest producer of tomatoes in the world. On the continent, the country is ranked second (after Egypt) with an annual production of about 1.8 million metric tonnes.

With over 48 million tomato farmers across the country, Nigeria accounts for 65 per cent of tomatoes produced in West Africa.

Ironically, the country is also the largest importer of tomato paste in the world, importing an average of 150,000mt of concentrate per annum.

Represented by the then Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Mrs. Sarah Alade, at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on partnering to build a competitive tomato industry, Sanusi attributed the massive tomato import to the dysfunctional agricultural value chain system in the country. The dysfunctional value chain, he said, equally leads to a loss of about 50 per cent of the tomatoes produced in the country because of poor preservation, poor marketing, distribution hiccups and access to markets.

Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano, further explained that the forum was intended to strengthen the country’s tomato industry, through partnerships in a bid to realise its potential in tomato production. Five years after the forum was held, little or nothing has changed as far as tomato production in the country is concerned. If anything, the situation has just gotten worse.

Read more at The Guardian (Eno-Abasi Sunday, Gbenga Akinfenwa, Joke Falaju, and Abdulganiu Alabi)

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