Alhaji Addulkarim Kaita, Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing Plant in Kadawa, Kano State, has called on the Federal government to stop the importation of tomato paste.
He made the call while speaking to newsmen shortly after inspecting the newly established N3 billion greenhouses at Kadawa village in Kura Local Government Area on Friday.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice,” Kaita said.
He said the measure would boost local production of the commodity and ensure that Nigeria is self sufficient in tomato production.
According to him, the ban will lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants as well as create jobs for many people in the country.
He said the company was putting a lot of effort to ensure Nigeria’s self sufficiency in tomato production.
Kaita said this informed the establishment of the biggest greenhouse in Africa which has the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings annually.
The Managing Director said the seedlings could produce 12,000 hectares of tomato per season.
“There are 12 tomato producing states in the country with 171,000 hectares which if fully cultivated, in the next one year Nigeria will be able to start exporting tomato.
“The greenhouse which is the largest in Africa, is established to provide tomato growers with high yield tomato seedlings in the country.
“We are working with the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Anchor Borrower Programme to provide tomato farmers with high yield seeds which will enable them to produce a minimum of 40 tons per hectare,” he said.