By Chioma Obinna
To support Federal Government plans on localisation of farming products drive, Caraway Africa Nigeria Limited, an Olam Group Company, has renewed commitment to strongly drive backward integration of tomatoes in Nigeria.
The Vice President, Caraway Packaged Food , Prashant Thakur, said that the firm has concluded plans for local production of tomato paste that would involve local farmers and local processing to produce Tomato concentrate.
Thakur stressed that the company had engaged numerous farmers of the Northern region around Jigawa and bought back the tomato fruit grown by them in the last season.
According to him, we have partnered with a local facility for crushing and converting the tomato fruit to tomato concentrate further sent to their processing factories in Lagos to produce the well-known brands namely ‘Tasty Tom’ and ‘Derica’.
“In the last season, we involved 500 farmers and also took some lands on lease to do local Tomato farming. We were able to get good yields as were projected from the same.
We were able to produce local Tomato Concentrate from one of the local partners crushing facility Aldusar foods and Beverages in Katsina. This Tomato Concentrate was further sent to our Lagos factories”
Thakur added that it is a step-by-step process if we are to achieve the end target. It cannot be done overnight. Once we were able to achieve the yields and crush the Tomatoes to concentrate, we have taken the next step of developing and preparing the 500 farmland that has been allocated to us by the Jigawa State Government for increasing the farming in the coming season.
The Lands acquired by Caraway is being prepared for cultivation this year with boreholes, drip systems, and soil treatment under progress.
Thakur said we plan to increase the farm produce as the year is going to boost the quantity of Tomato concentrate produced from locally grown Tomatoes.