Nigeria: Southern African tomatoes cheaper than local ones

Surprisingly and against all common sense tomatoes from Southern Africa can be cheaper than tomatoes grown only 90km away in Lagos. This is said to be due to infrastructural inefficiencies in markets like Nigeria which raise the costs of production and transportation of produce to market.

A shortfall in access to finance, quality and affordable inputs, insurance, market information and secure land tenures, also mark the limitations of unlocking their true potential. As a result, agribusiness investors face higher risks, which discourages investment. This can lead to divestment, as seen in the South African Tiger Brands, which recently sold off operations in Ethiopia and Nigeria.

“I don’t think there is one silver bullet – there is a whole package of issues that need solving. But I think the issue of skills to increase productivity and provide competitiveness in Africa is absolutely core, no matter what size [the farmer] is,” said John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa.


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