Tomatoes Farmers in Kano State have been trained on modern ways of stopping post-harvest losses by the Agro processing productivity enhancement and Livelihood improvement support programme, APPEALS.
Agro processing specialist of the agency, Muktar Usman said the workshop aimed at demonstrating to the participants, the hygiene, nutrition, sensitivity and environment safe method of preserving tomatoes through the use of plastic creates.
He said the sensitisation would stem the tide of the heavy post-harvest loses of over 40 percent percent incurred by farmers annually.
“The training will acquaint the participants with the technical know-how on how to reduce their loss and enhance production, processing and marketing of their products.
“This lost is generated from the farm gate up to the time of marketing. After the market has taken some quantity the farmers are left with huge tomatoes which get wasted.
“If the farmers adopt the new technology their rate of loses will be reduced as it will boost production and increase their economic status,” Usman said.
A participant Zainab Manzo said the knowledge acquired would go a long way in enhancing tomatoes value chain and sustainable production.
“The techniques which are being thought to us the local farmers, beginning from the rudiments of farming down to the packaging stage including sanitation will really help the tomato farm revolution in Nigeria,” Zainab stated.
Ibrahim Musa on his part said the training has thought them how to package tomatoes for customers’ appreciation and trust which would enhance their businesses.
Over 200 tomatoes farmers from the 44 local government areas of the state participated in the workshop.
Nigeria imports 159.5 metric tons of tomatoes paste worth 360 million dollars every year to augment local production, a trend the government is aiming to reverse to full local productin by the 2021.
The Nigerian government through the Central Bank of Nigeria has earmarked 250 million Naira for the purpose. The money is being giving out to the tomatoes farm stakeholders in phases.