In an effort to boost the production of fresh
tomatoes in the country, the federal government
has inaugurated a tomato monitoring team to
oversee the implementation of government
policy.
The Minister of State, Industry, Trade and
Investment,
Aisha Abubakar while inaugurating the team
on Monday in Abuja, noted that the objective
of the policy was to achieve sustainable tomato
processing in the country.
Abubakar said tomato industry is multi
million dollars across its value chain for both
MSMEs and large companies that if properly
harness would create job opportunity and
wealth in rural areas.
According to her, “the terms of reference of the
team include to monitor the implementation of
the policy and importation of tomato products
and derivatives”.
She said the team would link research and
development with the industry and will
advocate for the growth and development of
tomato industry.
The minister added that the team was also
to establish a peer review mechanism among
tomato processors to ensure the sustainability
of the industry.
She said that there were challenges ahead and
urged the team to show it’s commitment to the
revival and progress of the sector, to enhance
local tomato processing.
She assured that government has no intention
of changing this policy. We will identity the
bottlenecks and together we will overcome
them.
“It will also substitute imported tomato
concentrate with local products and reduce post
harvest losses.
” It is also to establish a framework
for sustainable financing of the sub
sector,”Abubakar said.
She said that the new tomato policy was
approved in February 2017, adding that the
implementation of new tariff regime began in
earnest in August 2017.
Abubakar said that the ministry had
been engaging other MDAs to remove the
encumbrances and challenges that might arise
in the actualisation of the objectives.
The team comprises Ministries of Industry,
Trade and Investment; Finance; Agriculture;
Raw Material Research and Development
Council; Customs, CBN, NAFDAC and
NARICT.
Abubakar added that the private sector
comprised MAN, Dangote Tomato Processing
Limited, Erisco Food Industries Limited,
Savannah Integrated Farms, GB Food, Tomato
Jo’s and Springfield Tomato Processing
Companies.
Responding, the President, Erisco Food
Industries Limited, Mr Eric Umeofia, said that
the team was committed to working with the
government to improve local tomato processing.
On his part, the Chairman Dangote Tomato
Processing Limited, Alhaji Sani Dangote and
the representatives of GB Food were among
those present.

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