The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) has disclosed that between 2018 and 2020 Nigeria imported a total of 105,000 metric tonnes of tomato valued at over N16 billion to bridge the deficit gap between supply and demand in the country.
This was disclosed by the Executive Director of NSPRI, Dr (Mrs) Patricia Onoghoeto Pessu, during the North West training of Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) in each agro-ecological zone on technological innovation in post-harvest management held at the NSPRI Kano zonal office.
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According to her, it is absurd to note that Nigeria produces about 2.3 million metric tonnes of tomato yearly; which makes the country the largest tomato producer in the Sub-Sahara, but that Nigeria is not on the list of official countries that export tomato or tomato products due to issues related to post-harvest losses incurred by farmers.
Represented by NSPRI Zonal Coordinator, Dr (Mrs) Eunice Bamishaiye, she revealed that the training had become necessary taking into consideration the amount of farm produce being lost due to poor post-harvest management. She explained that post-harvest losses had a significant effect on the nation’s economy as over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population depended on agriculture as a means of livelihood.
In his remark, Kano State Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who was represented by the Director Services of the ministry, Malam Abdulkadir Saminu, reaffirmed the state government’s commitment in rendering support to any programme that would bring positive development to the sector.