Fresh produce shortages likely this year, experts warn

NIGERIA – Nigeria may face tomato, rice and onion shortages next year, following the continued shut down of Tiga Dam in Kano State, The Nation has learnt.

The dam provides irrigation to Hadejia and to areas as far as Nguru and Gashua in Borno and Yobe states.

Nigeria produces 65 per cent of all the tomatoes in West Africa, with much of it produced in Kano. But more than 45 per cent of it rots away for lack of preservation and processing facilities.

Consultant to the World Bank, Prof Abel Ogunwale, said the dam has been a major source of water to irrigation sites in Kano State and major farming communities around Kaduna State and the continued shut down of the  dam has put the irrigation system in jeopardy.

Speaking with The Nation, Ogunwale, an extension specialist, said the suspension of water supply to farmers from the dam would, no doubt, negatively affect farming during the dry season.

He said the continuous shortage of the dam will affect rice, onion and tomato production.

Ogunwale explained that farmers that would be operating during the dry season farming will face serious threat.

He warned that if the authorities failed to quickly address this issue, the aftermath of the suspension would affect farm produce output in the state, especially tomato.

The Nation

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