Dr. Abayomi Olaniyan, Executive Director, National Horticultural Research (NIHORT) said that increasing tomatoes processing will reduce its seasonal glut. Olaniyan, made the assertion at the training and empowerment of unemployed youths on tomato nursery practices, value chain and Telfairia production in Ibadan, Oyo state, South-West Nigeria.
The training was organised by NIHORT in collaboration with the Hauge Logistics Ltd., Ibadan.
NIHORT has the mandate to conduct research into genetic improvement, production, processing, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and spices.
Olaniyan said that tomato is a profitable horticultural crop that provided income to farmers and agents involved in its production and marketing.
The executive director said that tomato production in Nigeria is still short of what is demanded as the production figure for fresh tomato is about 1.8 million tons, while the annual demand stood at 2.3 million tons.
The Chairman, NIHORT Governing Board, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Garba, said half of the quantity of tomatoes produced is lost due to wastage in the course of getting them to the market from farm.
He also said that building the capacity of unemployed youths on tomato nursery practices is expected to increase availability of the crop in the country.
Garba implored the participants to make good use of the golden opportunity by paying special attention to all the sessions.
NIHORT Head of Research, Dr. Stephen Afolayan, said that the training of no fewer than 200 youths across the country was sponsored by the Nigerian government.