An NGO, Pyxera Global YieldWise Nigeria Project, has registered more than 27,000 tomato farmers in its database in Jigawa, Kano and Katsina states as part of efforts to strengthen the tomato value chain.
The Project Director of the initiative, Mr Lekan Tobe, disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting in Kano on Tuesday.
The YieldWise project, which is being funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is aimed at reducing post harvest loss for tomato in the country.
He said the project had also been able to train the aggregated farmers on improved agronomic practices and post-harvest management as well as link the tomato farmers to alternative buyers and processors among others.
Tobe said the capacity building was aimed at introducing improved and good agricultural practices for better yields.
“We also want to ensure there is coordination among stakeholders in the value chain,” the project director added.
According to him, the project has introduced 16 affordable technologies such as zero energy clean chambers to hold the tomatoes before being transported to markets.
He lamented that due to lack of market access, poor handling practices and bad road networks, most of the tomatoes never make it to the markets.
Tobe called on the Federal Government to ensure that the ban on importation of tomato was enforced to save farmers from going out of the business.
Also speaking, the Vice President, Nigeria Agri-business Group, Chief Emmanuel Ijewere, called on federal and state governments to support tomato farmers by establishing aggregate centres and cold rooms to enable them to store the commodity before disposal.
In his remarks, the Secretary-General of the Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sani Danladi-Yadakwari, urged farmers to embrace the newly introduced plastic crate for transportation of the commodity to other parts of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by stakeholders, including representatives of federal and state ministries of agriculture as well as operators in the private sector (NAN)
– Sept. 18, 2018 @ 16:59 GMT |