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July 24, 2011

Nigeria loses 50% of its tomato harvest

by Tina A. Hassan

Post harvest loss is a common phenomenon to farmers in Nigeria. It is viewed as part of the farming process because no other option has been proffered to farmers on how to reduce post harvest losses especially among cultivators of vegetables, fruits and other perishables.

For example, tomato is a product that is in demand across markets in the country at all seasons but it is equally a highly perishable crop that spoils within the shortest period if it is not well preserved.

Addressing journalists at its 2010 Ministerial press briefing, the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Mohammed kaoje Abubakar said Nigeria imports processed tomato paste to the tune of 65,809 tons valued at N11.7 billion ( $77.167m) annually.

According to Abubakar, “Nigeria produces about 1.3 % of the world output of tomatoes annually but loses not less than 50 per cent of this due to lack of preservation. Unfortunately, Nigeria imports processed tomato paste.”

...The Daily Trust

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