The Federal Government has a huge plan to boost local production of tomato and create employment opportunities in Nigeria, according to the Executive Director of National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Dr Abayomi Olaniyan.
Dr Olaniyan made this disclosure at a workshop on tomato and ginger production, and value addition in Kano state.
While noting that tomato production in Nigeria has fallen below demand, he stated that the production figure for fresh tomato is about 1.8 million tonnes while the annual demand is 2.3 million tonnes.
The ED noted that processing of tomato would reduce the quantity of the commodity being imported into the country, especially during the lean season of supply.
In his words, “it is evident that improved production techniques and value addition must be taken seriously to attract sustainable levels of investment and stakeholders’ interest in ginger”. He also added that Nigeria was the third largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India.
Dr Olaniyan also noted that NIHORT had the mandate to conduct research into genetic improvement, production, processing, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and spices.
He urged participants to pay critical attention to all sessions in order to make the best use of the golden opportunity. The participants were drawn from mainly tomato and ginger farming communities in Kano and Kaduna States.