By Mustapha Usman, Kano
No fewer than 300 youths are currently under training in tomato processing and packaging by Bank of Industry, BoI, in conjunction with BETAMARK Production Company Limited at the Grand Central Hotel in Kano.
Speaking to journalists at the training venue on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer of the BETAMARK, Duro Kuteyi, said the aim of the workshop was to commercialise the knowledge and techniques of tomato processing gathered over the years through research and practical application.
“We have developed a concept to make Nigerians understand that they don’t need big equipment to start processing tomato, and it is something you can process in your kitchen.
“We also want Nigerians to understand that they can process tomato during its boom season and package it to last up to a period of 12 months,” he added.
Mr Kuteyi also explained that youths were the target participants because they are at the focal point of the government’s assistance, adding that they can also learn easily.
In his remarks, a facilitator at the training, Ansar Imam, who delivered a lecturer on cropping season on tomato, onion and pepper, explained the techniques of preserving vegetables.
Mr Imam, the chairman of Midvally Integrated Farms Limited, also pointed out that the workshop would teach farmers how to preserve excess of vegetables whenever there is glut and make profit out of it beyond its season.
“It would also save them from loss as they record perennial losses because they did not know how to preserve the commodities beyond its season,” he said.
The chairman of Entrepreneurs Forum of Kano, Kamal Abdulkadir, said he gained a lot of knowledge on how to produce and preserve tomatoes.
Another participant, Saddika Saleh, promised to put into practice what they have learnt at the workshop.
She said lack of adequate knowledge had caused them lots of failure, stressing that the training was a turning point for her to make profitable tomato business in future.