By Peter Egwuatu with agency report
The Dangote tomato processing factory has decried the huge financial loss being brought upon the country by farmers abandoning their tomato farms due to massive rainfalls across the country.
Accordingly, the company said it is losing about N30 million every month after tomato farmers abandon their farms recently.
Lamenting the development, Managing Director of Dangote Farms, Abdulkareem Kaita, said the company is losing at least N30 million every month that it remains shut.
The factory, which is Nigeria’s largest, has the capacity to process 1,200 tonnes of tomato a day.
In a report yesterday, Bloomberg quoted Kaita to have stated: “We knew tomato is a seasonal crop before we started as is the case in China and Europe. What we set out to do was reduce the post-harvest loss yearly to feed the factory.”
The farm has already acquired a 5,000-hectare of farmland to cultivate a high-yield variety of tomatoes to supply the factory with raw materials and at the same time introduce the variety to other farms to increase their productivity.
“With this, the output of the farmers would tremendously improve and the processing factory would record ample supply,” Kaita said.
“The effective implementation of the government’s policy in restricting tomato paste importation will guarantee more investment in the tomato value chain, which will eventually lead to self-sufficiency in few years to come.”