Home News FG constitutes inter-ministerial committee on tomato policy

FG constitutes inter-ministerial committee on tomato policy


Abuja  –  The Federal Government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to draw up a tomato policy for the country.

A top official in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

The official, who craved anonymity, said that the Minister of State in the ministry, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, inaugurated the committee on Monday.

NAN reports that the government’s move is coming on the heels of a recent nationwide scarcity of tomato, a key ingredient in household dishes across the country.

The scarcity had triggered an increase in the price of the vegetable by upto 400 per cent.

According to the official, the impending policy is geared towards achieving the current administration’s target of making the country self-sufficient in tomato production by 2018.

The source said that the nine-member committee, chaired by the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment, had till August to conclude its assignment.

Other members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bank of Industry (BOI) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

Also on the committee are officials from the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

NAN reports that domestic demand for fresh tomatoes currently stands at 2.3 million tonnes annually as against a national production output of 1.8 million tonnes.

Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture shows that the country spends about N16 billion annually on tomato importations to make up for the shortfall in local production.

The official said that the committee’s terms of reference included developing a blueprint to bridge the existing gap in consumption and production. (NAN

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