The Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kano State, Abdulkarim Kaita, has said the firm would resume full operations in the first week of February, saying the company was closed due to non-availability of tomatoes.
Kaita, who disclosed this in Kano weekend said, “When we stopped production last year, it wasn’t just for the sake of closing our plant. It was because sometimes last year, around this period, tomato growers were faced with the ravaging crisis of Tuta Absoluta disease, which destroyed tomatoes,” he recalled.
He added that it was as a result of the disease that the firm was forced to suspend production, as there was no tomato available to process.
Kaita further disclosed that when the firm resumes production, it would be producing 1,200 tones per day. “I am assuring you that when February comes and we resume production, nothing would stop us from advancing very well. Mark you, we are getting supply from Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Plateau states,” he said.
The managing director appealed to governments to do more in assisting tomato farmers, “especially by going round to the affected farms, and conducting necessary studies with a view to curbing a repeat of last year’s experience.
“You know, the pesticides are not here in our country. You can only import them; so, we urge all governments to start making preparations against a reoccurrence,” while insisting that, “Though we are not hoping for the worst, but precautionary measures must be taken.”