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How low tomato yield in Kano, Gombe, Kaduna triggered high demand from Plateau

Low yield of tomatoes, as well as diseases in some producing areas of Kano, Kaduna and Gombe, has triggered high demand of the produce from…

Low yield of tomatoes, as well as diseases in some producing areas of Kano, Kaduna and Gombe, has triggered high demand of the produce from Plateau State, Daily Trust on Sunday has learnt.

Tomato farming, which is seasonal, is mostly cultivated in batches, depending on the area. Some areas often plant before others.

Gombe, Kano and Kasina states usually cultivate their tomatoes before Jos in Plateau State, a situation that makes the produce available and affordable, not only in the producing areas but all over the country. But this season, however, cultivation in the said states was not successful due to an outbreak of a disease and frequent heavy rainfall, which prevented the crop from yielding as expected. Consequently, this development significantly affected yield.

Our correspondent reports that Plateau is one of the major producers of tomato in the country and stakeholders at Farin Gada, a popular tomato market in the state. Demand is currently high in the state, a development that resulted in hike in price.

Nasiru Sani, the chairman of the tomato market in Jos said, “Honestly, there is high demand for the product from Plateau. People are coming from other states to buy because there wasn’t enough yield in some of the producing areas like Kano, Kasina and Gombe.

“People are coming from different places, including states from the southern part of the country; that is why the cost of the product is high. A medium basket is sold at the rate of N11,000.

“Farmers from the producing states harvest their tomatoes differently. The time for those harvesting in Kano or Gombe is different from those cultivating in Jos and other places. So, with what happened in Kano and Kaduna, where we had low yield, many people trooped to Plateau to buy.

“In Plateau, the product has yielded this season, but there is high demand, and that is why the product has become very expensive. However, we are hoping that very soon the price would come down when farmers start to cultivate during dry season farming.”

Due to the current high demand, suppliers now follow farmers to their farms to buy the product.

Farmers said that because of high demand, instead of taking tomatoes to various markets after harvesting, they wait for buyers to come.

Dauda John, a farmer in Dorowa Babuje of Barikin Ladi Local Government Area said, “We prefer buyers to come to the farm instead of taking the tomatoes to the market. Although it is not as expensive as when you take it to the market, it is better we sell it in the farmer because it reduces transportation cost and other expenses.

“Last week, we sold a basket at the rate of N10,000 in the farm but the price reduced this week. The price depends on the situation of the market. Now you can get a basket at N7,000 or even N6,000, depending on the size. But in spite of the reduction in price, it is still profitable,” he added.

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