Dangote Farms has flagged off the distribution of hybrid tomato seedlings to tomato farmers under the Central Bank Anchor Borrower Programme.
Speaking at the event on Monday at Kadawa, the Managing Director of the company, Abdulkarim Kaita said that they would distribute 6,500 hectares worth of tomato seedlings to farmers before the end of the year.
“Today is the first day we are releasing the seedlings to them and the distribution is continuous and on daily basis. And today we are starting with 28 hectares.
“10,000 farmers are going to benefit from this programme and by next year, CBN has promised to help another set of 100,000 farmers across the country.
Mr Kaita said that the essence of distributing the hybrid seedlings was to boost output in order to meet the demand of tomatoes processing plants in the state.
According to him, most of farmers don’t get good yield out of their farms despite all the labor they put in.
“All the labour they put in, they hardly get more than 10 tonnes per hectare, while the hybrid seedling varieties introduced will produce 40, 60, 80 to 100 tones per hectare using the best practices,” Mr Kaita said.
The managing director added that the factory would purchase all the produce under the programme at a good price, as agreed upon.
He assured the farmers that this farming season all their produce would not end up on the road.
Earlier, the chairman of National Tomato Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Sani Yadakwari said that the project would go a long way in reducing post-harvest loss and increase their production.
According to him, under the pilot tomato anchor borrower programme, 10,000 small holder farmers are going to benefit in Kano state.
He said that the farmers were selected across the 44 local government areas and each will be given one hectare worth of seedlings, while large scale farmers will get three to four hectares of seedlings.
Mr Yadakwari commended Dangote Farms, CBN and the Federal Government for the initiative.
He also commended the federal government for banning the importation of tomatoes whether concentrated or fresh into the country.