NIGERIA – The Dangote Tomato Processing Company, has officially resumed production of tomato paste today Friday, 7 Jan after suspending operations in April 2019, due to inadequate supply of raw materials.

Its Managing Director, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita, said that the company had concluded necessary preparations for the commencement of operations.

“We have since recruited about 100 workers both skilled and casual, as we are prepared to run the company for 24 hours on daily basis,” he said.

Kaita, who is also the Managing Director of Dangote Farms Ltd, said when the company resumes operation, it would commence with 200 tonnes of fresh tomato per day until the supply of the commodity increased.

“The plant has the capacity to process 1,200 tonnes of fresh tomatoes per day. But for a start now, we are going to process 200 tonnes per day. But as time goes on, we will increase the number of tonnages,” he said.

He disclosed that the company had started buying the product from farmers who were registered under the Anchor Borrower programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Federal Government under the Anchor Borrower programme had registered 10,000 tomato growers to benefit from the intervention programme during the dry season farming.

To further boost supply and make Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production, the company inaugurated a N2.8 billion (US$7.6m) greenhouse nurseries in January to supply tomato seedlings to Nigerian farmers.

The nursery is designed to use the automated Pat Moose planting technology, the first of its kind in Nigeria with a capacity to produce 350 million tonnes of hybrid tomato seedlings per season enabling the planting of 12,000 hectares of tomato farm.

The pat moose process takes three weeks before proceeding to the next stage reducing the whole process of growing tomatoes to just 3 months.

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