Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jul 22, 2021 19:16:44 GMT 1
How To Start A Lucrative Tomato Farming Business In Nigeria Part-1
Tomato is a very popular vegetable in Nigeria, Africa and the world over. It is used in cooking all sorts of soups and stews. Incidentally, tomato farming is very simple and requires no special skills to carryout.
In the time past, you hardly pass any compound without seeing tomatoes planted all over the compound. No one knows what caused the discontinuance of that practice.
Tomato has a Huge Market in Nigeria
Tomatoes are in high demand in Nigeria, the demand far outstrips the supply, hence the frequent occurrence of scarcity. Whenever there is any little disruption, the tomato business chain breaks up causing scarcity.
Tomato paste market in Nigeria is a huge market too, the country is ranked 14th in the world, and 2nd in Africa after Egypt in tomato production.
Nigeria is a major force to be reckoned with in West Africa when it comes to tomato production as it produces over 65% of the total tomato produced in West Africa.
Tomato Paste Production and Importation
Nigeria imports about 150, 000 metric tons of tomato paste annually; this confirms the level of tomato consumption in Nigeria. Statistics show that Nigeria is the 13th largest importer of tomato paste in the world and 3rd in Africa.
Demand for fresh tomato in Nigeria is ever increasing
The current demand for fresh tomato in Nigeria is in the region of 3 million metric tonnes annually, while the present production stands at 2.3 metric tonnes annually.
What is the problem?
About 40-50% of tomatoes produced in Nigeria do not get to the market or where they are needed, the reasons are numerous; the post-harvest losses during the tomato peak production period are the worst.
The country has no proper preservation process for fresh tomatoes produced in the country.
Statistics show that the value of lost tomatoes in Nigeria due to post harvest losses is estimated to be about $15 billion annually.
How do we solve the problem of shortfall of tomato in Nigeria?
Nobody can deny the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has invested heavily into diversifying the economy from being mono-culturally dependent on oil.
This belief has necessitated huge investments made in Agriculture through several schemes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ programme which has affected the lives of many farmers and the national economy as well.
To solve the problem of shortage of tomato, the CBN, as part of its efforts in encouraging local production of the commodity, has placed tomato and tomato paste imports on foreign exchange restriction list.
Recall that Dangote Industries has also invested the sum of $3 billion in tomato processing plant established in Kano state; still the country’s tomato production capacity remains low.
The Country has one of the highest favorable weather conditions for tomato production, but poor tomato nursery and heavy post-harvest losses have been the major constraints.
Tomato nursery is a very important component of producing high quality seedling which forms the base for sustainable tomato production.
If you did not know, tomato seedlings are usually raised in nurseries before being transplanted to the farm fields.
Tomato nursery business is an expensive venture for many of Nigeria’s tomato farmers as most of them are smallholder farmers that have little or no money; this normally will force them to source the seedlings from neighboring countries.
One of the greatest problems I have seen in the poor management of post-harvest losses of fresh tomato in Nigeria is the loss caused by poor transportation of the commodity from the Northern part of the country where the commodity is mainly grown to the south where it is majorly consumed.
More than 40% of the commodity is lost on the way due to extremely bad transportation infrastructure and inadequate storage facilities when it even gets to the final destination.
Look at the situation where a paint bucket full of tomato is sold in Lagos Mile 12 market for N200 during the peak supply period, and most of the products are thrown away due to spoilage, while the same quantity is sold for N1, 000 during off season due to scarcity.
If there had been proper preservation methods, the paint bucket could probably be sold for an average of N400 throughout the period without the farmers or sellers losing much.
We of this forum believe that if the government can invest in reliable transport system like the long touted Agricultural products efficient transportation system.
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System of Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has advocated for the Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport & Storage Corridor (SATS-C) to become operational.
The SATS-C is a model that delivers a seamless supply-chain mechanism for handling agro-allied commodities such as inputs, raw materials, processors, and exporters.
When this transport system becomes operational most of these transport problems will be eliminated.
Stay with us as we will delve in the proper farming of tomato in Nigeria in the part 2 of the article.
If you are in need of training on Agricultural and export business, contact the admin of the forum as we are the best agro-export training institution in Nigeria.