As part of efforts aimed at addressing the challenges of raw materials deficit facing the country’s agricultural sector, the Federal Government, through the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), has shared improved tomato seeds to vegetable farmers in Oyo State.
The Director-General, RMRDC, Dr Hussaini Ibrahim, who disclosed this at an event in Ibadan, said that the government’s objective was to process tomato into paste and other value-added products.
Ibrahim noted that the government’s move was in relation to its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) policy, to improve industrial development and manufacturing through the processing of local raw materials.
“Based on this, the RMRDC initiated the project on the development of tomato value chain with a view to addressing the challenge of raw materials deficit among others in the sub-sector”. He said.
The Director-General therefore explained that the policy had prompted the establishment of new tomato processing plants as well as the revitalization of some dormant tomato concentrating plants.
He stressed that “Oyo state was selected because of its ecology and comparative advantage in cultivating tomato all year round if appropriate varieties are used in its Guinea Savanna.”
“Through these efforts, post-harvest losses of good quality tomato fruits will be minimized”. He added.