N16bn spent on tomato importation in two years —NSPRI

NIGERIA imported a total of 105,000 metric tons of tomatoes valued at over N16 billion between 2018 and 2020, the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) has revealed.

The Institute made this disclosure during the North West training of Agricultural Development Projects (ADP) in each agro-ecological zone on Technological Innovation in Post-Harvest Management, which was held at the NSPRI Kano zonal office.

According to the Executive Director of NSPRI, Dr (Mrs) Patricia Onoghoeto Pessu, Nigeria produces an estimated 2.3 million metric tonnes of tomatoes yearly making the country the largest tomato producer in the Sub-Sahara.

She said that despite this, it was appalling that Nigeria was still not on the list of official countries that exported tomatoes or tomato products due to issues related to Post-harvest Losses (PHL incurred by farmers.

Pessu who was represented by the NSPRI Zonal Coordinator, Dr (Mrs) Eunice Bamishaiye noted that the training had become necessary, taking into account the amount of farm produce lost to PHL.

Explaining further, she noted that these losses had a significant effect on the nation’s economy as over 70 percent of Nigeria’s population depended on agriculture as a means of livelihood.

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