Dangote Tomato signs MoU with farmers in Gombe, Sokoto
The Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa, Kano state has concluded arrangement to purchase fresh tomatoes from farmers in Gombe and Sokoto States.
The company had already signed an agreement with Tomato Growers Association for the procurement of the commodity from the two states.
The Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita disclosed this in Kano on Tuesday.
He said that the company found it necessary to go into the agreement following the non-availability of the commodity in Kano and other neighbouring states that produced it in large commercial quantities.
He noted that the CBN anchor borrower programme had adversely affected tomato the production this irrigation season, especially in Kano State where many farmers shifted to wheat and rice production.
'The wheat and rice loans given to farmers this year have affected tomato production in the state.
'This is the reason why the product is still costly as a big basket which was between N400 and N500 last year, is now N3, 000 in the market. 'So we cannot buy it at the present price.
'When the price was between N400 and N500, we used to buy from farmers at N1, 200 per basket,' Kaita said.
He said that the company would continue to monitor the situation until it was satisfied that the commodity was available to enable the factory resume production.
'If we resume production now, the commodity will be scarce and once it is scarce, the price will go up. This is what we don't want for now,'' he said.
On why the company did not give farmers loan to produce the commodity as it did in the past, Kaita said that out of the 100 farmers that benefited from the loan, only 20 of them were able to repay the facility.
'So we cannot give them another loan now since most of them have yet to repay the earlier loan they enjoyed, 'Kaita said.
ï¿¼He said that as soon as the commodity was available for processing, the factory would resume normal production.
'We are ready to resume production because all our machines are in good condition and ready for operation,' he added.