The Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN) has called on the Federal Government to establish cottage processing plants in tomato producing areas. TOGAN Secretary General, Alhaji Sani Danladi-Yadakwari, stated that establishing the plants in areas where the commodity is being produced on a large scale is of great importance, especially during seasonal glut.
“There is a need for the Federal Government to build cottage processing plants in states where tomato is being produced in large commercial quantity to check seasonal glut. These plants can be sited at Bunkure, Kura, Bagwai and Garunmalam Local Government areas in Kano State and other states like Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa and Plateau where the commodity is also produced,” he said.
The processed tomatoes can be used in the Federal Government’s school feeding programme across the country to check wastage.
Danladi-Yadakwari lamented that despite the Federal Government’s ban on importing tomato paste into the country, this commodity is still being imported by unpatriotic elements. He, therefore, called on the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to ensure effective enforcement of the ban on importation of the commodity to save farmers from going out of business.
He identified lack of market access, poor handling practices and importation of the commodity as some of the challenges bedevilling tomato production in the country. Danladi-Yadakwari further commended the Kano state government for providing farmers with 10,000 packages of improved tomato seeds and 10,000 cartons of insecticide.