Kano – The Kano State Government has awarded a contract of N252 million for the purchase of improved tomato seeds and chemicals for distribution to tomato growers.
The Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, made the disclosure in an interview to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Tuesday.
He said the seeds and chemicals would be distributed to tomato farmers who affected by the outbreak of Tuta Absoluta, the pest that ravaged tomato farms in the state in 2016.
“The state government intends to assist tomato farmers with improved seeds and chemicals as the government has awarded contract to a company to procure the items.
“As soon as the items arrive, we shall distribute same to farmers that suffered huge losses during the epidemic.
Gawuna said the decision to support the affected farmers was borne out of the government’s efforts to encourage them to remain in the business and boost production of the commodity.
He added that the state government was also working in partnership with Raw Materials Research Council to provide improved variety of tomato seeds to about 100 farmers in the state.
“The selected farmers will be provided with the improved seed varieties s in the next 10 days to serve as a demonstration to produce the commodity.
“If the seeds have better yields, they will be given to more farmers in the state to enable them to produce it in commercial quantity,” Gawuna said.
He disclosed that the government planned to deploy extension workers across the 44 local government areas, especially areas where the commodity was produced in a large scale to advise farmers on modern farming techniques.
According to him, the government has set up a committee to mediate between Dangote Tomato Processing Company and tomato farmers to see how the company can resume production.
NAN recalls that tomato farmers in Kano State lost over two billion naira to Tuta Absoluta.