Tomato processing factories in Nigeria are working to secure the local market and keep out cheap imports.
This is difficult for Africa’s second largest tomato producer due to inadequate facilities.
They face a variety of problems, ranging from cheap imports and poor transport and logistics to unreliable power supply.
“As a matter of fact, we have a market because of our eating culture, because of our traditional eating system. The market for tomato paste in Nigeria is very huge, about 800,000 metric tonnes per year. But the problem now is that the market is being created in China,” Eric Umeofia, President of Erisco Foods Limited said.
Close to 1.5 million tons of tomatoes are produced annually, of which 45 percent perish.
Tomato consumers in the country spend about 360 million US dollars on tomato paste imports from countries such as Italy and China.