- Nigeria’s Tomato Production Deficit Now 700,000mt
The National Horticultural Research Institute has said that Africa’s largest economy Nigeria has tomatoes production deficit of 700,000 metric tonnes.
The research institute put the nation’s current demand at 3 million metric tonnes, suggesting that the nation’s domestic production stands at 2.3 million metric tonnes, up from 1.8 million metric tonnes recorded in 2018.
Mr Abayomi Olaniyan, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NIHORT, disclosed this during a two-day workshop organised by the institute for stakeholders in tomato and telfairia production in Abuja.
He said, “Tomato production in Nigeria is still short of what is demanded particularly during the second and third quarters of the year.
“While about three million metric tonnes is the national requirement, about 2.3 metric tonnes is the production.
“About two years ago, the production was 1.8 million metric tonnes but because of the trainings and technologies that NIHORT has perfected alongside other stakeholders, the production has increased by about 25 per cent.
“That is the reason we are getting the production figure of 2.3 million metric tonnes as against 1.8 million metric tonnes.”
The CEO also noted that one of the reasons for the deficit was post-harvest losses, saying around 40 percent of tomatoes produced in the country were often wasted because of poor preservation mechanism.
“Tomato management is important for future development of the commodity value chain,” he stated.
Olaniyan added, “Nursery is a basic need and prerequisite for producing quality seedlings. Putting efforts on quality seedling production offers scope for sustainable tomato production.
“Additionally, nursery provides employment opportunities for technical, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour.”