Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria Trains Farmers, Entrepreneurs, On Tomato Seedling Production In Nigeria

By Post-Nigeria: November 30, 2018 11:52

Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria Trains Farmers, Entrepreneurs, On Tomato Seedling Production In Nigeria

Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria, has on Thursday, 29th November, 2018, trained over 40 Farmers drawn from Mingibri Local Government Area of Kano State, on commercial tomato seedling production.

The intensive training was undertaken by Mr. Gabriel Isaiah, an Agricultural Expert and staff of Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria, in line with the company’s mission statement of “creating value for resource-poor small Farmers in developing countries, through innovation in sustainable agriculture and the activation of value chains.”

Post-Nigeria could recall, that the Foundation has operational strategy which focuses on smallholders, productivity, and marketing.

While speaking, Mr. Gabriel Isaiah said that the training exposed the Farmers to modern tomato farming techniques, which is aimed at making Farmers entrepreneurs, which will in turn increase employment generation and poverty alleviation.

He further stressed on the need for the Farmers to be committed to enable them reap the benefits.

The training also centered on commercial nursery establishment; use of crates and soil media, agronomy practices, post harvest operations and marketing .

At the end of the intensive training, Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria, empowered the Lead Farmer, Mr. Salisu Shaibu, with the required inputs, such as seed, soil media, crates, fungicides, insecticide, small structure, and fertilizer.

In reaction, the Lead Farmer with other trainees present at the pilot demonstration field were happy for being trained on the new technology in tomato seedling production.

The Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria, came at a time when Nigeria was ranked the 14th largest producer of tomatoes in the world. On the continent, the country is ranked second (after Egypt), with about 1.8 million metric tonnes which she produces annually. With over 48 million tomato Farmers across the country, Nigeria accounts for 65 percent of tomatoes produced in West Africa.

Ironically, the country is also the largest importer of tomato paste in the world, importing an average of 150, 000 metric tonnes of concentrate per annum, which is valued at $170 million.

Massive tomato import has been attributed to the dysfunctional agricultural value chain system in Nigeria.

The dysfunctional value chain has equally led to a loss of about 50 percent of the tomatoes produced in the country, because of poor preservation, poor marketing, distribution hiccups, and access to markets.

Therefore, with the Kano State Government’s readiness to partner with private investors, to boost tomato seedling production in the State, coupled with the training of Farmers by Syngenta Foundation-Nigeria, the country’s tomato farming will soon experience a turnaround.