In furtherance of the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and the Techinical Committee on Fruits and Vegetable Products are now working on implementation of the draft codes of practices for the tomato value chain from planting, harvesting, processing and transportation to Storage.
Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said that a meeting of the Committee with SON reached a milestone in the country’s agricultural transformation and economic diversification agenda.
According to him, Nigeria as the second largest producer of tomato worldwide is yet to attain its full potentials in spite of previous efforts by Stakeholders.
Represented by the Chief of Staff to Director General, Barrister Richard Agu, Aboloma said the technical committee meeting is aimed at developing a practical road map to mitigate identified challenges of poor practices, thereby unlocking the huge economic benefits to Nigeria and the African continent at large through exports.
He expressed confidence in the Committee’s capacity to produce implementable codes of practices for tomato from planting to storage, export and consumption, given the level of technical knowledge and experience that abound in the membership.
He then challenged the Committee to immediately set up an agenda for the quick realization of the task.
Commenting on the Committee’s task, the Chairperson, Dr. Abiola Oke of National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan described the Nigerian Codes of practice for tomato as the national guides for farmers and processors to meet the requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards in providing quality raw materials to local processing plants.
According to her: “The aim of the codes is to help farmers produce safe, fresh tomato as raw materials for the local industries thereby reducing the importation of processed tomato products which is a burden on Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings”