Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria on Thursday demanded for immediate implementation of the Federal Government Tomato Policy Guidelines by all governmental agencies concerned to end the colossal loss of investment by tomato farmers to the tune of over N10 billion in 2018.
The Association National Secretary , Malam Sani Danladi Yada Kwari made the call on Thursday in Kano at a news conference.
Malam Sani Danladi Yada Kwari said though the federal government protects tomato farmers with the Tomato Policy Guidelines which was approved in March 2017 but is being frustrated by officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Customs Service as a result of corruption.
He alleged that some officials of NAFDAC and the Nigerian Customs Service are collaborating with some tomato cabals as NAFDAC has refused to bring to justice importers or marketers of unhealthy tomato paste as revealed by Nigerian’s Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN).
“ Some indigenous factories whom off-take tomatoes from farmers have shut down because of lack of buyers of their concentrate, these packers would rather import from China and other countries without duty or smuggle them through Republic of Benin, “said Yada Kwari.
The association demand for investigation to why NAFDAC that has publicly declared that imported Tomatoes Paste are only 28% tomatoes and the balance is additives and chemicals have failed to confiscate those produce that are unfit for human consumption.
The body commend the efforts of organisations such as the Nigeria Agricbusiness Group (NABG), All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alliance For Green Revolution in Africa, Pyxera Global, Tecno- Serve, Fadama III and many others for their continuous strive in ensuring farmers are linked with major off takers such as Dangote Tomato Processing Company ,Savannah Integrated Farm Ltd and Ikara Processing Plants.