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Tomato farmers panic over FG’s paste importation approval

Tomato farmers in Kano State have expressed fears that the nation may witness scarcity of fresh tomatoes this year as most farmers are apprehensive to…

Tomato farmers in Kano State have expressed fears that the nation may witness scarcity of fresh tomatoes this year as most farmers are apprehensive to produce tomatoes due to the recent federal government approval to some companies to import tomato paste and tomato concentrate.

The state chairman of Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), Alhaji Sani Danladi Yadakwari, said the association had gotten information that the federal government has given tomato importation approval to nine companies with 10 percent duty and 20 percent levy only, adding that the development is to their detriment as many tomato farmers would not cultivate it this dry season.

“Amidst battling with the issue of storage and market, we thought our plight was over when tomato was listed under the FG’s Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower Program (ABP). However, just as we were trying to meet up with recovery issues, the CBN announced a chance in the recovery processes which signifies no anchor borrower for tomato this year, and then the issue of the FG giving approval to import tomato paste sets in,” he revealed.

A visit to Kadawa irrigation site revealed that preparation to grow tomato was so scanty as farmers are now venturing into wheat instead of tomato.

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A tomato farmer Malam Isiyaku Bello Barkum said he would not grow tomato this dry season because it would be a waste of resources, taking into consideration what is happening.

“Most tomato farmers will not grow it this year. As you can see, we are all getting set to grow wheat instead. Indicators have shown that it is going to be a waste, no thanks to some federal government policies,” he said.