This fully automated farm is the first of its kind in West Africa and is expected to transform the economy of local tomato growers, with the technology to increase its current crop from 10 tonnes to 40 tonnes. .
Abdulkarim Kaita, chief executive of Dangote Tomatoes Processing Company Limited, confirmed this on Thursday during a visit to the senior management office of the Kano office of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Speaking to BusinessDay on the sidelines of the visit, Kaita revealed that her company's new investment on the farm was motivated by a desire to help Nigeria stop the $ 350 million spent on tomato imports. fresh and processed. Annually
He added that his company has so far injected more than $ 3 billion into the development of the farm. Over the next three weeks, it will supply high-quality tomato plants to tomato producers in the 12 states of the Federation where the highly-grown product
"The administration of Dangote Farms, a subsidiary of Dangote Tomatoes Processing Company Limited, is pleased to report our considerable efforts to make Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production.
"The planting medium you see is called PAT MOOSE, which has the capacity to produce 350 million seedlings per season and can be used to plant about 12,000 hectares of tomatoes.
"We are pleased to announce that we are the first to introduce this new technology into the country, which will greatly accelerate the performance of our tomato growers.
"The project is being executed as part of the CBN program Tomato Anchorage Provider. CBN will pay for the plants we grow and will be distributed to farmers.
"The PAT MOOSE process you see takes 3 weeks, after which it goes to the next step, and the entire process of growing tomatoes takes only three months," he explained.
To provide more information on the value added that Greenhouse Farm would provide, Kaita said the introduction of the technology would end post-harvest losses and increase the volume of the crop.
In the same vein, he added that the introduction of technology would lead to an expansion of product production beyond the 2.5 million tonnes of current consumer demand.
"According to the GEMS project study, Nigeria has 171,000 hectares of land for tomato production, and if this is multiplied by more than 40 tons, this technology is capable of producing per hectare, this means that we can increase our production to about 8 million piles.
"In the next two years, if the government bans the import of commodities, as was the case for rice, Nigeria will soon become a net exporter of this product.