By Tukur Muntari
Kano – Alhaji Abdulkadi Kaita, the Managing Director, Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kano says Nigeria can survive without importing tomato pastes from other countries.
Kaita made this known when the executive council members of the Kano Concern Citizens’ Initiative (KCCI) paid a visit to the production site of the company at Kadawa in Garun-Malam Local Government Area of Kano State on Wednesday.
Kaita said that the multi-million naira tomato processing plant was operating at high capacity on a daily basis.
He said that the craze for the importation of tomato pastes being produced in countries such as China was not as qualitative as the ones produced in Nigeria.
He said that with the sophisticated state of the art facilities in place, the company’s production output was adequate enough to meet the competing demands of customers in Kano in particular and the country as a whole.
Kaita said that lack of patronage had been the major challenge the company was facing over the years in spite of the safety and quality nets it had introduced for consumers to have a fair share of the deal.
“It will be counterproductive for large scale dealers of the commodity to heavily rely on importing the commodity from foreign countries,” he said.
A large scale rice farmer in Kano, Alhaji Saidu Garun-Babba, while conducting the executive council members of the KCCI round his rice farm in Garun-Babba town, described the business of rice production as lucrative.
He said that the business of rice production had a positive effect of reducing Nigeria’s over-dependence on foreign rice.
According to him, there is the compelling need for the Federal Government to increase the budgetary allocation accruing to the agricultural sector in the country.
He said that the provision of improved seedlings and high yield quality seeds ought to have been accorded top priority with substantial monetary allocation made for enhanced productivity to be ensured.
He stressed the need for the Federal Government to support the business of rice production by indigenous farmers in view of the need to enhance the much pronounced food security and to reduce foreign rice syndrome.
“The business of rice production is capital intensive and requires outmost patience, resilience and the ability to face some gruelling odds,” Garun-Babba said.
Alhaji Bashir Tofa, the KCCI Chairman said he was highly impressed by what they saw in all the production sites they visited.
Tofa said the commodity being produced and packaged by the company was strong enough to join the league of its sister production companies across the country.
He said the organisation, an NGO was ready to contribute its quota toward offering useful advice on how the economic fortunes of Kano state and the country could be fully revived and consolidated.(NAN)