‘Nigeria to commence implementation of new tomato policy soon’

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After the Nigerian Customs Service decided to start introducing the New Tomato Policy, there were signs that the tomato processing plant in Dangot and three other enterprises could soon begin operations.

A tomato policy will ensure that importers pay a higher duty on imports of tomato paste at a rate of $ 1,500 per metric ton of imported tomato paste. The Vice President of the Nigerian Agribusiness (NABG), who reported on this yesterday in Abuja at AGRA MIRA Nigerian Project Analysis Seminar, said that this step will promote backward integration and lead to local companies competing with tomato paste importers.

I’m crying that most tomato processing companies initially closed down because Nigerian customs didn’t implement the policy, he said through his participation in the Microreform framework (policy, legislation and regulations) for African agribusiness, they were able to achieve the policy.

Ijewere noted that although the policy was approved by the federal executive council last year, it was not implemented by Nigerian customs until Vice President Emi Osinbajo forced them, adding that from January 2019 the factories would start operations.

According to him, tomatoes grown in the country do not turn into pasta, because for enterprises processing tomatoes, imports from abroad are cheaper, because the yield from farmers is insufficient to serve tomato plants, and most of them rely on China and Italy for pasta. He added that none of the 12 factories that dealt with them, could not process tomatoes from Nigeria, since most of their plants were designed to import pasta from overseas, add water and subsequent packaging.



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