Tomatoes to be surplus in markets as FG announces new policy
The Minister of INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT , Ugochukwu Enelamah, disclosed that the Federal government has developed a new policy for tomatoes, in line with the Government’s goal of boosting production, improving the value chain and attracting investment
According to the minister, the tomato sector policy was developed and is being implemented.
According to the minister, the tomato sector policy was developed and is being implemented in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control
.The basic objectives of the policy includes- to increase local production of fresh tomato fruit required for fresh fruit consumption and processing; increase local production of tomato concentrate and reduce post-harvest losses.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the policy and the implementation of certain extraordinary price-based measures to safeguard the balance of payments, under the condition of recession.
According to the price based measures which include classification of Greenhouse Equipment as Agricultural Equipment in order to attract 0 percent import duty to stopped the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate put up for retail sale; stopped the importation of tomatoes preserved otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; increase of the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50 percent with an additional levy of $1,500/MT
Also, restriction of the importation of tomato concentrate to the seaports to address the abuse of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS); inclusion of tomato production and processing in the list of industries eligible for INVESTMENT INCENTIVES administered by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
According to Enelamah, “this new policy is at the core of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), which prioritises agro-allied businesses, an area that we have comparative advantage”
He continued: “these measures ultimately, accelerates the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepens diversification.”
“Nigeria imports an average of 150,000 metric tons of tomato concentrate per annum valued at $170million mostly due to inadequacy in capacity to produce tomato concentrate. Current demand for fresh tomato fruits is estimated at about 2.45million metric tons per annum (MTPA) while the country produces only about 1.8million MTPA”.
Enelamah stated that despite the supply gap, about 40 percent of fresh tomato produce is lost due to wastage arising from poor post-harvest handling and inadequate storage.
He promised that MITI is committed to sustainable investment in the entire value chain of tomato sub-sector. In addition, agriculture and agro-allied processing are priority areas for achieving the MITI plan for Growth and Diversification.
He added that the new policy is expected to create at least 60,000 additional jobs in fresh fruit production and processing.
The Minister also disclosed that FEC has approved the establishment of the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (The Industrial Council) on March 15th.
Addressing the issue of Made in Nigeria, The Minister said that FEC has approved the Made in Nigeria patronage initiative to stimulate local production, create employment and patronage of Made in Nigeria goods and services. By implication, our local manufacturers will have a more conducive environment to produce, policy initiatives to support them and more aggressive funding targeted as MSMEs
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