Dangote Group launches N4 billion tomato factory in Kano

16 Mar 2016
Chibuike Oguh


The tomato processing plant will produce over 400,000 tonnes of tomato paste annually.

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive, Dangote Group

The Dangote Group has launched a tomato processing plant in Kano State, which is considered to be the largest in Africa.

The tomato processing plant, built at an estimated cost of $20 million (N4 billion), will produce over 400,000 tonnes of tomato paste annually. It is expected to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported tomato paste.

“We have fully started operations today and the target is 1,200 metric tons per day,” Abdulkareem Kaita, the Managing Director of Dangote Farms Ltd., told Bloomberg on Tuesday. “We are going to work with the farmers, they can afford to produce more because there’s a processing factory, and they don’t have to suffer losses like they did before.”

Nigeria is the 13th largest producer of tomatoes in the world and the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an annual production of over 1.5 million tonnes of tomatoes. Yet, the country still imports tomato paste, mostly from China and Italy. About 900,000 tonnes of Nigeria’s tomatoes rot before getting to markets. (Nigeria imports about 300,000 tonnes of tomato paste from China worth about $360 million).

Dangote’s tomato processing plant was built by Swiss agribusiness giant, Syngenta. The factory will directly employ about 120 people, but engage over 50,000 tomato farmers located around the Kadawa Valley in Kano State. The plant is the size of 10 football pitches, set alongside 17,000 hectares of irrigated fields.

Tomato farmers will receive a guaranteed price of about $700 (N140,000) per tonne compared to the current average price of $350 (N70,000), according to estimates by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture estimates that Nigeria has an annual demand for tomatoe paste of about 900,000 tonnes.

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