A presidential master-plan initiated by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, and designed to be achieved from 2012 to 2018, revealed that Nigeria needs 6 million metric tonnes of tomato annually to meet her domestic need and to begin export.
While the country loses about 40% of 1.8 million tonnes of tomato produced annually to postharvest losses at the peak of production, importers are having a field day importing tomato paste at the detriment of the farmers.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, outlined a new tomato policy conceived in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture, which he said will create 60,000 jobs in the country.
The new policy is expected to increase domestic production and processing of fresh tomato in order to reduce postharvest losses.
This policy will “stop the importation of tomatoes preserved otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; increase the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50% with an additional levy of $1,500/MT…, accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepen diversification,” he said.