FG to implement new policy to boost tomato production
The ministry also increased the tariff on importation of tomato pastes and concentrates from 5 percent to 50 percent as part efforts targeted at boosting local production.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said today that the federal government is set to implement a new policy to boost local tomato production.
Speaking during a press briefing at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, Enelamah said the new policy is in line with the federal government’s agenda to boost local production, improve the food value chain, and attract investment.
The announcement of the planned tomato policy comes after the ministry last month banned the importation of tomato concentrates. The ministry also increased the tariff on importation of tomato pastes and concentrates from 5 percent to 50 percent as part efforts targeted at boosting local production.
Enemalah said the policy is targeted at, increasing local production of tomatoes required for consumption, processing and the reduction of post-harvest losses.
The minister said the policy will be implemented in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Industry, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
Despite being the largest producer of tomatoes in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria still spends about $1.5 billion annually on the importation of tomato concentrates and products, according to Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, the Director General of the Raw Material and Research and Development Council.
In 2016, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Nigeria produces about 1.5 million tonnes of tomatoes a year although over 900,000 tonnes is lost to post-harvest rot.
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