Proximate processing of tomato has been identified as a reliable method of reducing losses incurred by tomato farmers and processors after harvest.
The Chief Executive Officer, Spectra Industries Ltd, Mr. Duro Kuteyi, who disclosed this in Lagos, during training for Agro business experts, start-ups and people in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), said with the method, farmers can reduce post-harvest losses to as low as five per cent.
He said over 50 percent of tomatoes are wasted at the farm gates, due to inability of farmers to preserve them after harvest.
Kuteyi said: “We train farmers and processors on the proximate processing method. The method starts at the farm gates with washing of the tomato, milling, processing and packaging. With that method, you won’t lose up to five per cent of the tomatoes.
“That is why we train people on how to process tomato, to buy fresh tomatoes when it is cheaper like N2, 000 per basket and to keep it till the price is N45, 000 upward to make profit.”
The CEO also called for division of labour across the agriculture value-chain for maximum productivity in the sector.
“In everything, there is division of labour, to avoid unnecessary stress. But when some will be in farming, processing and tertiary processing business at the same time, this brings stress. When you look at the agriculture value chain, unless you are big to combine these together, it is a stress. There must be division of labour.”