The Federal government through the ministry of agriculture has announced a ban will be placed on importation of tomato paste before the end of the year.
The Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Audu Ogbe disclosed this during the tour of the Dangote Processing Plant in Kadawa, Kano State.
According to The Cable, the minister said the ban will encourage tomato paste production locally.
HE said, “The federal government has set aside N250 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank Agriculture to disburse as soft loans to tomato farmers as part of the Anchor Borrower scheme.
“Federal government will continue to encourage Dangote agro-farms and the farmers to grow massive tomatoes in Nigeria and with this kind of outfit, farmers will earn more with better seedlings from the Dangote greenhouse and get better results,” the minister said, according to the report, explaining that $22 billion is spent on tomato paste importation annually.
“The farmers will supply to the processor and eventually join tomato breeders in the world. In a short while, Nigeria will simply stop importation and dependence on other sources for tomato supply.”
Also speaking during the tour, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed the Central Bank supported Dangote Greenhouse with N1.3 billion to produce hybrid tomato seedlings.
“The greenhouse plant will produce 3 million seedlings which will supply to farmers. With this hybrid tomato seedling, farmers will be able to produce over 70,000 tons per hectare against the 10,000 tons,”
“To this end, this output will encourage farmers to increase their production and provide job opportunity. Let me emphasize the federal government ban on those foods and other items we can produce in this country still remain on the banning list,” he said
The Dangote Group had launched the $2o million tomato processing facility in 2015
Source: The Cable