Tomato prices may be higher than expected this year due to the recent closure of the Tiga dam by the Hadeja-jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA) in Kano state
Tomato farmers in the state had lost 250, 000 tons of the commodities which represent 60 per cent of their total production.
“The dam is the main source of water for irrigation sites in the state and the closure had negatively affected tomato production this irrigation season by 60 per cent”. Says Sani danladi-yadakwari , Secretary General of Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria.
“Many of our members had planted the tomatoes when suddenly the HJRBDA closed the dam and the closure had affected our farms. And the water dam which was closed for over 40 days would affect bumper harvest of the commodity as most of the tomato farms had experienced serious water shortage during the period”.danladi-yadakwri also added.
Danladi-yadakwari also added that the authority should have given them and all other irrigation farmers three weeks’ notice before the commencement of maintenance at the dam. But they did not notify them until they started working on the dam
“We had contacted Chairman and Secretary of the Water Users Association before the commencement of the maintenance at the dam and sponsored jingles announcements for one week on radio stations before the repairs of the dam commenced”. Says Salisu Baba-Hamza, Public Relations Officer of the Hadeja-jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA)
“Definitely it is going to affect tomato prices because that dam is the basket of tomato producers in Nigeria.it will affect all the farmers in that area and increase the prices of tomatoes. No wonder the prices of tomatoes are increasing and it is very unlikely around the harmanttan period. During the dry season, tomatoes requires cold induction for flowering and food formation and this process can only be achieved during the dry season,” Henry Akintoye, President, Horticultural Society of Nigeria told BusinessDay on phone
Akintoye also added that the government should address this as quickly as possible because the area is a big one for tomatoes farmers and that it will affect the outlook projection for tomato this year.