The Kano State Government says it is ready to partner with private investors to boost tomato production in the state.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nasiru Gawuna, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Friday.
Gawuna said the state government was ready to allocate farms to private investors to produce the commodity in large commercial quantity for sale to the Dangote Tomato Processing Company and individuals.
He said under the plan, the state government would allocate the farms to interested private investors who would produce the commodity and sell it to people for local consumption.
According to him, the initiative would go along way in boosting production of the commodity in addition to providing Tomato Processing Companies with adequate raw materials for their operation.
“This is what the government did at Kadawa where it set aside many farms for tomato production as a trial,” Gawuna said.
The Commissioner, who, attributed the decline in tomato production in the state in recent times to pest infection, said the state government had concluded arrangements to support farmers to boost the production of the commodity.
He said the government had set up a committee called “Innovative Platform on Tomato” to ensure effective implementation of the government’s plans.
He also disclosed that the state government had concluded arrangements to construct boreholes at all irrigation sites across the 44 local government areas of the state to enhance irrigation activities.
Gawuna said the measure became necessary in order to ensure massive production of some selected commodities especially groundnut, maize and wheat, among others.
“The initiative will not only provide job opportunities to the teeming number of unemployed persons but will also check rural-urban drift especially among youths,”he added.
NAN reports that due to the decline in the production of the commodity in Kano and other neighbouring states, the Dangote Tomato Processing Company had yet to resume production since the outbreak of the tomato disease known as “Tuta Absoluta”, about two years ago.