Nigerian Tomatoes ready for Export
The Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, has Stated that the country has put in place necessary facilities to make locally produced tomatoes exportable and acceptable in foreign countries.
According to him, the export drive for Nigeria agricultural produce has reached a stage of no return, adding that Nigeria was set to hit the global market with high quality agro-allied products.
Awolowo made the declaration at the weekend in Benin City when he commended an indigenous producer of tomato, Wells Hosa Greenhouse Farms Limited, for deploying the use of greenhouse technology to produce exportable tomatoes in the country.
Awolowo, the Executive Director, NEPC, explained that with the technology Nigeria could now start to export tomatoes to every part of the world, maintaining that the technology would also help to end the era of Nigeria’s tomatoes being infected by different forms of diseases hence unacceptable overseas.The NEPC boss stated this at the first harvest launch of Wells Hosa Green House Farms Limited in Edo State.
Meanwhile, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Agriculture, said the Federal Government had endorsed greenhouse farming to boost food production in the country, saying that before the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, agriculture was seen as a government’s programme, but stressed that with Wells Hosa Green House Farms initiative, Nigerians were seeing it as a business and investment.
Awolowo said: “He wants to create wealth for the people in Edo State and also create job opportunities. It is a good idea to use the green house technology, because all year round they would be growing and you can see the massive project he has embarked on, and I believe if it is not the biggest in Africa it will be the biggest in West Africa. From green-house technology, you will not get any form of tomato diseases because they are covered and restricted and those are the kind of tomatoes we can export because it is easy to get into supermarkets across the world.”
According to him, local producers have increased, courtesy of the federal government’s ease of doing business, expressing hope of more local products finding their way on the shelves of Nigeria’s stores and supermarkets across the country.
“This technology will help to satisfy our local consumption and already most of our stores and supermarkets are filled with made-in-Nigeria goods because everybody is now producing and the ones that their goods are export-certified would be taken abroad,” he said.
The Chairman, Wells Hosa Green House Farms Limited, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo, said agriculture is key to changing the Nigerian narrative, pointing out that with green house technology, the country could produce quality and exportable products for local and global needs while also creating wealth and job opportunities in the country.