As part of its youth empowerment programme, the Tomatoes and Orchard Processors Association of Nigeria (TOPAN) has said it will train no fewer than 1,000 young farmers in tomato production.
The Managing Director of the association, Mr. Bola Oyeleke who disclosed this in Abuja, said the objective of the programme is to encourage Nigerian youths to embrace agriculture.
According to him, TOPAN has collaborated with a firm in Netherland, which specializes in greenhouse farming and other technologically advanced agricultural practices, for technical support.
He said that after the plans have been concluded, experts would be deployed to Nigeria from the Netherlands, adding that the firm will see to the installation of a tomato processing plant.
Oyeleke said that the plan was to establish farm settlements in different states in Nigeria and all the value chains would be in one location to cut down on losses and enhance productivity.
In his words, “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.”
The MD further stated that TOPAN has started making necessary arrangements with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other relevant stakeholders to implement the project.