The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday announced the removal of 20 per cent duty on tomato Greenhouse equipment to boost production and attract investment into the Nigerian tomato sub-sector.
Greenhouse are tools used for all year growing and protection of plants from effects of the adverse weather.
Nigeria, in 2016, experienced adverse scarcity of tomato following the outbreak of tomato disease called Tuta absoluta.
The states affected by the tomato disease, locally referred to as “tomato ebola’’, included Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, and Nasarawa.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said that the removal of the duty will boost tomato production in the country.
“The Council also approved a set of measures to boost production and attract investment into the Nigerian tomato sub-sector.This is a sector that has lots of farmers, in a state like Kano alone there are 75,000 farmers and so it is important to encourage them.And so we approved a set of measures to encourage them both in local production as well as to attract more investment into tomato farming, processing all the way, the value chain to how tomato gets to our tables.These measures will include things we are doing to make sure we plant tomato round the year, things like greenhouse equipment, making sure that they can come in without any barriers or duties.They also include the use of both tariff and non tariff measures to address the issues Nigerians are most concerned about, which is the issue of dumping, issues around quality and the standards of what we consume,” he said.
The minister said these measures will also bring about self sufficiency in tomato production within the next one or two years.
He revealed that government will set up an inter-ministerial committee to collaborate with the private sector for the smooth implementation of the tomato policy.
He added that the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will be saddled with the responsibilities of giving best options on production method, provision of equipment as well as financing of the policy.