Kano — Dangote Tomato Processing Company has commenced distribution of tomato seeds to 5000 farmers in Kano, for the coming dry season farming.
The distribution of the seed, under the CBN Anchor Borrower Programme, will provide each of the farmers with seedlings expected to produce minimum of fourty tons of tomatoes.
Speaking to newsmen at the flag off ceremony at the Dangote Tomato Processing Company in Kano, the managing director of the company, Abdulkarim Kaita, said the programme is to boost tomato farming and support the country's economy in the area of local investment.
He said the main objective of the programme is to encourage local production in the country and also to stop the importation of tomatoes.
"Today, we are commencing the second phase of the distribution as we did the first last year.
"But this time, we're going higher and we will give high-bred seeds to 5000 tomato farmers.
"As you may be aware, we are established mainly to reduce post harvest lost and also to promote local production of tomatoes in the country.
"This is the largest tomato cluster in Nigeria and we are working to ensure that tomato farmers get a high-bred tomato seedlings," he added.
He said they were happy with what was achieved last year, adding that it was the reason they commenced the second distribution of the seeds.
"We got motivated with what happened last year in terms of the yield.
"The farmers were very happy.
"So now with the high-bred seed, a lazy farmer can get fourty tons, while a hard working farmer can get up to seventy tons in the same land you got ten tons last year.
"Nigeria has good land for tomato farming, so I see no reason why we will be importing tomatoes from outside.
"Government should support this policy and enforce a total ban on tomato importation to improve local investment," he urged.
He caution that most of the imported tomatoes are highly adulterated which mainly contain starch, colour and little tomato, adding that it's harmful to human.