The Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa, Kano State, which suspended operation more than a year ago, is to resume operation within the next two weeks.
The Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Saturday.
“We hope to resume processing of fresh tomato in the next two weeks. This is our plan, God willing,” he said.
NAN reports that the company initially stopped working following the outbreak of a pest, Tuta Absoluta, which ravaged most tomato farms in Kano and other states that produced the commodity about two years ago.
However, when it resumed production in late 2017, the company was forced to suspend operation again due to non availability of fresh tomato to process, as a result of some challenges faced by tomato growers in the state.
He said the company had already met with tomato farmers in the state, where they discussed on how to ensure steady supply of the commodity to the company.
Kaita said during the recent visit to the company by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefele and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, they assured that the Federal Government would place total ban on importation of tomato paste into the country.
“During the recent visit to the company by the two officials, they assured us that the Federal Government will ensure full implementation of tomato policy in the country.
“We hope the government will keep to its promise in order to support tomato growers to encourage them to remain in the business,” he said.
He also urged the Kano State Government to fulfill the promise it made to tomato growers to enable them produce the commodity in large scale.
“During the recent visit, the Federal Government officials were accompanied by the state Deputy governor, Dr Nasiru Gawuna and he promised that the State Government will support the tomato farmers.”
NAN reports that the company has the capacity to process 120 tonnes of fresh tomato daily. (NAN)