Nigeria records about 40% post-harvest losses in tomato production annually, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has said.
Chairman Governing Board of RMRDC, Abdullahi Tambuwal stated this at the presentation of tomato seeds to vegetable farmers in Sokoto.
He also noted: “While the annual production of tomato in the country is rising and currently slightly over 1.8 million metric tonnes, national demand has increased to more than 2.4million metric tonnes per annum, leaving a huge deficit.”
Tambuwal said the presentation of improved tomato seeds was to address the demand and supply gap in the tomato industry.
He added that it was with a view of harnessing the huge potentials of the staple crop in Nigeria.
The Chairman explained that the improved tomato seed involves open-pollinated seed.
“This means that the seeds can be saved replanted after being harvested. This is with a view to ensuring the sustainability of the production of tomato perennially in the country.”
He said the event was significant as it was in consonance with the President Buhari administration’s agenda of diversifying the national economy from crude oil as global oil prices continue to dwindle.
He urged commitment from farmers towards boosting and sustaining the supply of quality fruits for local industries.
He said the council had also made the presentation of seeds in eight states of Plateau, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Gombe, Taraba, Oyo and Benue.