The Dangote Tomato Processing Factory in Kadawa, Kura Local Government Area of Kano State is to resume production in February.
The factory began operations with a producing capacity of 1200Mt daily supply of fresh tomatoes with a conversion into 200Mt of paste. However, operations had to be suspended in the wake of the Tuta Absoluta scourge that ravaged the Tomato value chain, ultimately stifling the suppy of raw materials to Kadawa.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Company, Abdulkadir Kaita, said the factory which commenced production in February last year had suspended operations due to lack of adequate raw materials.
According to Kaita, “We deliberately decided to resume production in February because we don’t want to create scarcity of the commodity. We want to make sure that there is enough to process so that its price will not go up”.
He said the company had to suspend production, when most of the tomato farms in about five states were affected by a pest, which destroyed all the tomato species.
However, expressing optimism about this year’s turn out, the director stated, “we expect that tomato farmers would have produced enough for the company to process, hence our decision to resume production in February”.
Kaita said preparations for production to resume was at an advanced stage, adding that many tomato farmers at the Kadawa, Kura, Garun-Malam and Hadeja-Jama’are irrigation sites are expected to produce enough for the company to process.
He also informed that the company which had the capacity to process 40 trucks or 1,200 tonnes of fresh tomatoes per day and would soon begin recruitment of more staff.
It would be recalled that AgroNigeria reported the outbreak of the “Tuta Absoluta” and ran several follow up stories as the scourge hit harder, with Kano reportedly being worst hit.
The pest, causing a blight popularly christened Tomato Ebola, had destroyed tomato farms in Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Katsina and Kaduna states last year resulting in the scarcity of Tomatoes.