Mr. Bola Oyeleke, Managing Director, Tomatoes and Orchard Processors Association of Nigeria (TOPAN), says the association is concluding plans to train no fewer than 1,000 young farmers in tomato production.
Bola said in Abuja that the training was part of its youth empowerment programme meant to encourage young Nigerians to embrace agriculture, particularly tomato production.
He said the association was partnering a company in the Netherlands which specialised in green house farming and other technologically-advanced agricultural practices for technical support.
He noted that once necessary agreements were concluded with the company, experts would be deployed to Nigeria from the Netherlands.
According to him, besides training the farmers, the company will see to the installation of a tomato processing plant.
He added that the plan was to establish farm settlements in different states of the federation, where all value chains would be in one location to cut down on losses and improve productivity.
He said the trainees would at the end of the training, which would involve practical application of knowledge, feed the processing plants with their output, making it a win-win situation.
“It will be a situation where the farmers will transform knowledge gained from the training into wealth because whatever yield they come up with at the end of the day will be off-taken from them to feed the processing plant,” he said.
According to Oyeleke, the organisation has also commenced engagement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other relevant stakeholders to see to the actualisation of the project.