All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Niger State, on Saturday, urged the Federal Government to put the right structures in place before banning importation of tomato paste into the country.
Alhaji Shehu Galadima, AFAN Chairman in the state, gave the advice in Minna during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“I am in support of the planned ban on importation of tomato paste into the country by the federal government. This is because the importation is not growing our economy in terms of local and foreign trade.
“You also find out that some of these importers, import all kinds of substandard tomato pastes that can be hazardous to the public,” he said.
Galadima, however said that the policy would fail if the right structures are not put in place by government before effecting the ban.
“Government must encourage the private sector to establish more tomato paste industries and also assist the local tomatoes farmers who will provide the raw material before such policy will work.
“Right now we don’t have enough industries to produce the quantity of tomato paste we need in Nigeria.
“The tomato farmers across the country lack modern storage facilities, that was why half of what we produce rots away,” he said.
Recently, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said in Kano that the government would place final ban on the importation of tomatoes paste before the end of 2019, to encourage massive local production.