Dangote Tomato processing factory, has begun production at its Kadawa factory in Kano state, Northern Nigeria.
The Managing Director of Dangote tomato processing plant, Mallam Abdulkareem Kaita made this known to newsmen at the factory’s conference hall after a tomato processing tour of the factory in Kano state.
He stated that, the 1,200tons per day capacity plant has begun production after concluding all necessary arrangements for a successful takeoff this season.
According to him, the company has reached agreement with tomato farmers on the pricing of tomato hence pricing posed no threat to the company’s production as it uptakes from the farmers.
“We have reached an agreement with the three stakeholders in tomato production. We have resolved to offer what the open markets offer subject to review every two days and I am happy that the growers have been cooperating because we have since started.
“It will interest you to know that the company has made commitment to adhere to the agreement reached and also hope to have a hitch free business season between us,” said Kaita.
The Managing Director also stressed the need for the authorities concerned to step-up on the policy that bans tomato paste importation.
“The Federal Government has done well in formulation of the policy that bans tomato paste importation, but there is still need for it to do more in enforcing the policy; this will no doubt assist the farmers and the company to produce more,” he noted.
Tukur Arab, kano state northwestern Nigeria.
Dangote urges FG to enforce tomato paste import ban
The Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing Plant, Abdulkarim Kaita, has called on the Federal Government to enforce ban on importation of tomato paste for local processing factories to thrive.
Mr Kaita made the call at a press conference organised to mark the reopening of the Dangote tomato factory in Kano state, Northern Nigeria after it suspended production for about four years.
According to him, the tomato paste is still smuggled into the country through different boarders, despite the federal government ban.
He lamented that the importation of the product was a discouragement to farmers in the country.
However, Mr Kaita noted that the ban would help the federal government save billions of naira from the cost of importation of commodities that could be produced locally and at the same time boost domestic production.
He also said that the imported tomato paste are mostly substandard, mixed with additives, while those produced at the Dangote factory are 100% pure without any additional ingredients.
“Our major challenge is importation of tomato paste. The federal government has banned the importation of tomato paste but the federal government has not enforced the ban, that is why we still see the commodity making its way into our markets. This mean it is being snuggled into the country.
“That is why we called on the government to enforce importation of tomato paste and its smuggling like they did on rice, ” he said.
The MD explained that the Dangote tomato industry, located in Kura Local Government area of Kano State was established to help local farmers reduce losses incurred from rots as a result of lack of modern preservation techniques.
Mr Kaita also revealed that, at the beginning the factory was producing 1,200 tones of fresh tomato per day, equivalent to 40 trucks, but due to scarcity if the commodity, it would now be operating on at least 100 tone a day.
He expressed optimism that the factory would improve on its production, just as it reached agreement with the local tomato farmers on the price of tomato that is pegged at market price.