NIGERIA. Niger State: Tomato production in Nigeria has increased to 2.3 million metric tonnes from 1.8 million metric tonnes recorded three years ago, the National Institute of Horticultural Research ( NIHORT) has disclosed.
The Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Institute of Horticultural Research (NIHORT), Ibadan, Oyo State, Major General Mohammed Abdullahi-Garba disclosed this at a 2-Day Geo-Political Training for unemployed Youths and Women on Tomato Value Addition for farmers at the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Baddegi in Niger state.
According to him, tomato is a important economic crop consumed across the world adding that the crop is capable of improving the nation’s agricultural economic development.
He said that this is the reason why the youths are being trained is to drive the economic growth of the Nation upward.
The Executive Director of the NIHORT, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan said the training was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural agenda to empower youths and women and reduce post harvest losses.
“This training is done in the bid to make quality food available at the tables of Nigerians and to reduce post harvest losses.
“To reduce post harvest losses, we have to teach the farmers how to add value to the product and generate more revenue.”
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The Executive Director of the NIHORT, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan said that the institute has the mandate to conduct research into genetic improvement, production technologies, processing, storage, utilization and marketing of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and spices.
According to him, tomato is one of the important mandate crops of the institute as it has a number of technologies in tomato value chain to add value to the product.
“The short shelf span and inadequate logistics for post-harvest handling, packaging, storage and processing of tomatoes have contributed to high post harvest losses which stands at 35 per cent to 100 per cent experienced in the tomatoes commodity value chain
“This has made the produce to be very expensive during some months of the year and to alleviate the menace, there is need to process tomato in order to reduce seasonal glut and inconsistent year round supply and reduce high importation of tomato paste and concentrates into the country”, he added