The leadership of the Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN) has decried the continues illegal importation of tomato concentrate into Nigeria, which they said was against the Nigerian government’s new tomato policy adding that non-implementation of the policy was negatively affecting local tomato farmers.
The cry was made by TOGAN’s national secretary, Sani Danladi Yadakwari, while addressing reporters at the association’s second annual press conference on the theme: “Economic Emancipation for Tomato Farmers from Poverty caused by Importers of Tomato Concentrate” organized in collaboration with the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) held Thursday, in Kano.
“Due to lack of the much needed infrastructure in rural farming communities, farmers are facing losses of over 40 percent of their expected production; every year, 700,000 MT is lost,” said Yadakwari.
“Unfortunately when we approached the Nigerian Customs Service regarding the motive behind the non-implementation of the policy we were told that between the date the policy was approved and the date they were given the gazette of the policy for implementation, it had exceeded the stipulated time of ninety days, hence they couldn’t implement it as it had expired.”
It would be recalled that the Nigerian government had in 2017 announced a new tomato policy focused on boosting local production of fresh tomato, minimizing post-harvest losses and attracting investment. However implementation of this policy is been delayed leading to more loses by the farmers
Also speaking at the event, vice president of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Emmanuel Tijewere, explained their interest in the tomato value chain.
“In 2018 we took up tomato but we are having all kinds of problems, the presidency have been very cooperative but the agencies have been very uncooperative and insensitive to the suffering of tomato farmers in Nigeria,” he said
Stakeholders in the tomato value chain at the conference appealed to the Nigerian government to listen to their plea by implementing the new tomato policy, failure to this in 30 days’ time, they said, will result in a mass protest by members of TOGAN at the offices of the Nigerian Customs Service, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as well as the National Assembly in Abuja.
The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), with support from Ma…