The Nigerian government has brought out a new policy on tomatoes in order to boost production, improve value chain and attract investment.
The ministry said the policy is developed and implemented in collaboration with relevant government agencies.
Nigeria imports an average of 150,000 metric tons of tomato concentrate per annum valued at 170million dollars, mostly due to inadequacy in capacity.
The current demand for fresh tomato fruits is estimated at about 2.45million metric tons per annum while the country produces about 1.8million metric tons per annum.
Despite the supply gap, about 40 percent of fresh tomato produce is lost due to wastage arising from poor post-harvest handling and inadequate storage.
The new policy is expected to encourage local production by cutting down on dumping of produce and reducing post-harvest losses estimated at 40 percent due to inadequate storage facilities.
The policy which was approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 15th also Prohibits Importation of Tomato by Land Borders and Places 50 percent tariffs on industrial paste .
Imported tomato concentrates will now attract 50 percent tariffs and special industrial levies of 1,500 dollars per metric tonne, to be used as a backward integration plan to develop the local industry.
This policy is expected to curb the dumping of tomato paste through the Nigerian land border.