The National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) in Zaria is collaborating with Katsina state government to set up a processing factory to produce natural tomato paste free of additives.
A statement issued by the institute’s public relations officer, Aliyu Bala, said that Katsina state is to provide N35 million for the project not N500 million as being insinuated in some quarters.
“The institute has a strong and smooth collaboration with the Katsina state government. In the past we had established first Neem organic fertilizer and Bio-pesticide production plant. We are now on the verge of establishing Kenaf/Jute and tomato procession factories.
“The institute and the state government agreed on N35 million project; N20 million for building and N15 million for machineries as at March 2016, but due to trends and inflationary rate witnessed in the country we had already written the state government for review. Therefore, thereport in some quarters that we have received the sum of N500 million is false and untrue.”
He said the importance of the projects is for Nigerians to be consuming 100 per cent indigenous Nigerian tomatoes unlike imported tomato paste that are 20 per cent tomato and 80 per cent additives.
The Kenaf Project, according to him, will provide jute and kenaf sacks for agricultural sector and this will ensure acceptability of Nigeria agro-produce all over the world.