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TOGAN wails as Tomatoes price soars in Kano

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Despite lamenting the infestation of a pest, Tuta absoluta, also known as Tomato leaf mine by Kano state Tomato Out Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), the price of tomatoes is at a hike in the market.

According to the State Chairman of the TOGAN, Alhaji Sani Yadakwari, “The farmers cannot get even 10 per cent of what they have invested in tomato cultivation this season,”

He said this year’s outbreak has resulted in a loss of output by almost 70 per cent, pushing tomato prices higher by 450 per cent.

According to TOGAN, “In the current season, the infestation had led to losses of millions of dollars, causing shortages. It had not only eaten into the income of farmers but also hoteliers.”

He said, for stakeholders in the hospitality industry, the infestation posed a high risk to the cost of food production in restaurants.

A visit to the popular Yankaba Market, one of the biggest perishable food hubs in Kano, reveals the increase in the prices of tomatoes, with a plate selling for between N1,200 and N1,500 while a basket of the brand of tomato sells for between N8,000 and N15,000.

Farmers Voice learned that a month before the increase in the price of tomatoes, one basket was sold for 5,500 to 7,500 Naira.

A tomato buyer at the market, Nasiru Lawan complained about the rise in tomato price, saying N1,200 tomatoes are no longer enough to make stew.

“The price has increased, you can’t even make a stew with N1,200 tomatoes. We are in a tight situation and God is the only one to get us out of this.”

According to research, Nigeria is the second-largest tomato-producing country in Africa after Egypt.

It is also the 13th largest tomato producer with 2.3 million tons. Unfortunately, over 40% of the product suffers postharvest losses.

Once every year, Kano suffers a biting scarcity of tomatoes, a perishable commodity consumed by almost every household.

The shortage is usually a result of the lack of access to quality seeds, effective storage facilities, and poor processing infrastructure.

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