The authorities of Nigeria on Tuesday announced a new policy for tomatoes, in line with its objective of boosting production, improving the value chain and attracting investment.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, at a media briefing at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.
According to him, the tomato sector policy was developed and is being implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
He said the policy is targeted at increasing local production of fresh tomato fruit required for fresh fruit consumption and processing; increase local production of tomato concentrate and reduce post-harvest losses.
360nobs had reported fortnight ago that the federal government banned the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate.
Speaking on behalf of the government, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment also increased the tariff on importation of tomato concentrate among others from five to 50 per cent in order to revive the tomato sector.
“As you are aware, government has overtime engaged tomato industry stakeholders on ways to deepen the industry and particularly, encourage the use of locally produced tomato fruits across the value chain. It is in that regard that I am directed to bring to your notice the decision of the government towards boosting production and attracting investments into the tomato sector.
“These include ‘classification of greenhouse equipment as agricultural equipment to attract zero per cent import duty. Ban on the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate put up for retailing and others Ban on tomato prepared or preserved by vinegar or acetic acid and others,” a statement issued by the ministry read in part.