By Abdulmumin Murtala
Kano—The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; Dangote Group of Companies and Kano State government are partnering to localise the production of tomatoes in Nigeria and discourage importation of the product.
This was disclosed in Kano, yesterday, when the combined team of Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele visited Dangote tomato seedlings production farm at Kadawa in Kano State.
According to Ogbeh, part of the visit is to inspect some facilities in the state before the implementation of a planned programme of enhancing the production of tomatoes in the country.
At a brief meeting with farmers, who complained of annual losses due to inability to sell the product, Ogbeh told farmers that the Federal Government would ban the importation of tomatoes by the end of the year to enhance local production.
In his remark at a courtesy call on Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the production of tomatoes was being done through the enhancement of the seedlings by Dangote Farms, which would not only encourage production but also increase export.
He explained that eight times the usual production per hectare was expected from the new tomato seedlings being provided by the Dangote Group.
In his address Managing Director of Dangote farm, Sani Dangote, said the farm was currently producing three million enhanced seedlings that will be provided to the farmers for subsequent production. He added that Dangote tomato paste company would then purchase and process it.
In his remark, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, said the issue of agriculture was very important, adding: “There are many variables at work and if we want to succeed we must take the whole process critically because any missing step would make the whole exercise a failure.