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[Dangote Group]–The Managing Director of Dangote’ Tomatoes Processing Company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita, has said on Tuesday that the company will begin normal production as soon as raw materials are available production.
He made this statement during the conclusion of arrangement to purchase fresh tomatoes from farmers in Gombe and Sokoto States, where, the company had earlier signed an agreement with Tomato Growers Association for the procurement of the commodity.
Kaita said the company found it necessary to go into the agreement following the non-availability of the commodity in Kano and other neighbouring states that produced it in large commercial quantities.
He noted that the non-availability of Tomatoes in Kano and other neighbouring states was a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria anchor borrower programme, where farmers are given loans for rice and wheat production, which has led to shift from tomatoesto to rice and wheat production.
He said “this is the reason why the product is still costly as a big basket which was between N400 and N500 last year, is now N3, 000 in the market.
He then added that the company would continue to monitor the situation until it was satisfied that the commodity was available to enable the factory resume production, stating all the machines are I’m good condition and ready for operation.
Speaking on why the company did not give farmers loan to produce the commodity as it did in the past, Kaita revealed that out of the 100 farmers that benefited from the loan, only 20 of them were able to repay the facility, adding that this has affected them from enjoying the privilege, since they need to repay the previous loan before they can enjoy another.
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