Tomato Jos Farming and Processing Limited, in partnership with the Kaduna state government, is set to boost tomato paste production in Nigeria, by strengthening small scale farmers to produce commercially.
The firm through this reform is seeking to contribute 10 percent of the tomato paste to be consumed in Nigeria.
“The company focuses on year-round crop cultivation as well as food processing and value addition for the Nigerian and West African markets,” were the words of the Managing Director of the firm, Mira Mehta, who reiterated the firm’s commitment to enhancing tomato paste production.
Speaking at the launch of the firm in Kaduna, Mehta said that the company has positively impacted rice and maize production in the country. She added the firm is keen on making significant contributions to food sufficiency and job creation.
The tomato project in the state is also backed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its Entrepreneurial Agriculture and Capacity Development Programme.
Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, who was also present at the launch identified Nigeria’s huge contributions to tomato cultivation in the continent and moved on to commend the State government’s efforts toward repositioning agriculture.
In his words: “Nigeria has the largest area cultivated for fresh tomato in Africa, with 521,800 hectares, followed by Egypt with 214,000.
On his part, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai implored investors and agro-processors to make more investments in the state, adding that the state has a welcoming nature towards agriculture, as well as fertile farmlands for cultivation