Tomato, a crop of Interest


#Tomato is a #crop of interest, conversations around strengthening the tomato value chain remains constant. Rotten tomatoes are a common sight across markets in rural and urban Nigeria. Nigeria is Africa’s second largest producer of fresh tomato and is ranked as 16th in the world with an annual production of 2.3 tonnes, the national demand for tomatoes stands at 2-3 million tonnes every year,.

Approximately 200,000 Nigerian farmers grow more than 1.8 million metric tons of tomatoes per year falling short of domestic market demand for 2.3 million.

Until recently the gap of 500,000 MT off #tomatoes was being filled by imports.

#Postharvest losses account for 45-65% of the tomato value chain amounting to $15bn annually and this is attributable to spoilage on the farm, handling and transportation, access to storage/cold facility , and a lack of value addition.

For a region that imports nearly $360m worth of tomato paste per year, it is impossible to claim that there is no market demand. The potential to scale production for export through value addition in the name of tomato processing remains untapped. Our need to limit imports and boost domestic production of tomatoes would have a positive ripple effect on micro -to macro #agribusiness and smallholder farmers in the long run.