The palpable excitement which domestic consumers have been displaying in recent times as a result of the current glut in the tomato market is not being shared by tomato farmers.
The lack of off-takers is taking a toll on their profitability, forcing them to offer produce at lower prices to avert losses from perishing stocks.
Sanni Yadakwari, the secretary, Tomato Grower Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), in an exclusive interview with business a.m. on Wednesday said a 50 kilogramme (kg) of tomatoes now sells for N3,000 because there are less alternatives in the open market for farmers.
The Financial Derivatives Company’s (FDC) commodities update for the week ended September 6 had put the price of 50kg of tomatoes at N10,000 to represent a 50 percent drop from the previous month’s price of N20,000.
The association is planning to besiege the National Assembly should unbridled importation of tomatoe paste continue without respite, Yadakwari told business a.m.
For months the association has been beckoning on the government to implement the tomato policy designed to discourage importation.
The consequences of continued importation is that the industrial users of tomatoes, who serve as guaranteed off taking channels to farmers have been collapsing from the inability to cope with the competition posed by imported concentrates.
“We are planning to see the Comptroller General of the Customs. Then we will know what next steps to take. If there is no development in that regard, we are planning to besiege the national assembly. Currently, farmers are at loss because there are no off-takers to reduce the glut along the value chain,” Yadakwari said.