Chief Eric Umeofia, Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods, Lagos has appealed to Federal Government to assist tomato processors with foreign exchange for the importation of heat-resistant tomato seedlings.
Umeofia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that heat wave caused by the effects of climate change had destroyed tomato farms belonging to processors in the northern parts of the country.
According to him, processors need foreign exchange for the procurement of the seedlings and other tools, to sustain the country’s sufficiency in local production of tomato paste.
“Reduced access to fresh tomatoes has affected our production capacity, as we are presently producing below capacity.
“We need forex to import heat-resistant seedlings and treatment tools to continue production.
“Access to foreign exchange will mitigate the reoccurrence and reduce the influx of imported, substandard tomato paste into the country.
NAN recalls that the Dangote Tomato Processing Factory in Kadawa, Kano State, has suspended production due to lack of access to fresh tomatoes for production.
The company said pests had destroyed its tomato farms in the northern parts of the country