Processors ask goverment to review tomato paste policy


[FILE PHOTO] A tomato processing plant in Nigeria

The Tomato Processors’ Association of Nigeria has called for a review of the government’s new policy on effective implementation of self-sufficiency in production and local processing of fresh tomatoes into paste across the country.

“There have not been any effect on the new policy as the market is continually flooded with several foreign brands of tomato.’’

The Federal Government, last year, announced a new policy for tomato aimed at reducing the over N52 billion spent annually on the importation of 150,000 metric tonnes of tomato concentrate through the neighboring countries into Nigeria.

President of the association, Mr Abdullahi Ringim, made the  call yesterday at  a meeting with the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, in Abuja.

Responding, the minister assured the association that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in partnership with the ministry and other stakeholders, would work together to ensure that the tomato sub-sector is used to grow the economy.

Abubakar said: “To this effect, the CBN has distributed a list of requirements for the ministry and stakeholders in the tomato sub-sector to access. The issue of cost, again, is there, but we hope that with increased production, the prices of tomato will be able to come down and will become affordable and accessible for table use for everybody.”

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