On Tuesday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, outlined a new tomato policy, conceived in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture, which he said will create 60,000 jobs in the country.
The new policy is expected to increase domestic production and processing of fresh tomatoes in order to reduce post-harvest losses. This policy will “stop the importation of tomatoes, preserved or otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; increase the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50% with an additional levy of $1,500/MT…, accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepen diversification,” he said.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration revealed that Nigeria needs 6 million metric tonnes of tomatoes annually to meet domestic needs and to begin exports. The country currently loses about 40% of 1.8 million tonnes of tomato produced annually to post-harvest losses. Enelamah said Nigeria imports an average of 150,000 metric tonnes of tomato concentrate per annum, valued at $170 million, mostly due to an inadequacy in the capacity to produce tomato concentrate.