The Sokoto State Government has on Friday urged the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to increase the distribution of improved tomato seedlings to more farmers and boost the cultivation of the commodity in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Mr. Arzuka Tureta, made the appeal at the Council’s distribution of improved tomato seedlings to 70 farmers in the state.
He described the RMRDC’s efforts as a welcomed development regarding the arable land and mineral resources that abound in Sokoto State.
Tureta said that similar initiatives were anchored by the state government, in partnership with various agricultural institutions and agro-allied industries, through the out-grower schemes.
Earlier, RMRDC’s Governing Board Chairman,Mr. Abdullahi Waziri, said the distribution of the improved seedlings was aimed at enhancing tomato cultivation through modern agronomic practices, especially among the rural farmers.
According to him, the improved seed is suitable to different soil contents with the aim of addressing the demand and supply gap in tomato industries.
Waziri noted that the effort was tailored toward harnessing the huge industrial potentialities of the staple crop in Nigeria.
He noted that the donation of the improved seedlings was part of the council’s effort, to ensure the availability of raw materials as inputs for local resource-based industries.
According to him, the RMRDC is committed to the development of the capacity of the industrial sector of the economy.
The Chairman, Tomato Farmers’ Association, Sokoto State chapter, Mr.Murtala Gagado, thanked the council for the support and expressed optimism that the effort would encourage increased farming in the state.