CEO Dangote Seeks Complete Ban on Tomato Importation

the Managing Director, Dangote Tomato Processing plant in Kadawa, Kano State, Abdulkarim Kaita, has requested the Nigerian government to place a ban on importation of tomato paste into the country.

Abdulkarim Kaita, made the demand on Thursday during the inauguration of tomato seedlings distribution to 5,000 farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme on Thursday at Kadawa village in Kura Local Government Area of Kano State.

He said:

“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.

Furthermore that the call was necessary to boost local production of the commodity and ensure that Nigeria was self-sufficient in tomato production.

He further added that the ban on the importation of tomato paste would lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants, thereby creating job opportunities for many people in the country.

He said that the importation of tomato paste was still thriving as the commodity was being imported from Cameroon and Cotonour in Benin Republic.

He disclosed that Dangote Tomato Processing Company had held talks with the Controller General at the Customs Headquarters over the matter but nothing has been done to curb the illicit practice.

“It is only by putting a total ban on tomato importation that the government can encourage farmers to grow the commodity for the country to be self-sufficient,” he said.

The company is collaborating with the CBN to provide tomato farmers with high yield seeds that are hoped to produce at least 40 tons per hectare.

“There are 12 major tomato producing states in the country which if fully cultivated, in the next one year Nigeria will be able to start exporting tomato,” Kaita added.

Nigeria spends around $1 billion annually importing tomato paste, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme. 75 per cent of locally produces tomatoes are wasted due to storage constraints.

 

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