Tomato farmers in Kano have expressed their fear and dissatisfaction over the suspension of the distribution of hybrid tomato seedlings by Dangote Farms.

According to the Chairman of the Kano State branch of the National Tomato Growers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Sani Danladi-Yadakwari, as reported by Premium Times, the suspension could pose serious production challenges for the farmers this year.

Danladi-Yadakwari made known that only about 500 of the 10,000 registered tomato farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers Programme were able to collect the seedlings before the distribution was suddenly suspended.

Fear among tomato farmers as Dangote Farms suspends seedlings distribution  

The hybrid tomato seedling is of utmost importance as farmers who use it have confirmed it could produce between 40, 60, and 80 and up to 100 tonnes per hectare using the best practices.

“If care is not taken, the essence of distributing the hybrid seedling, which was to boost production of the commodity and meet the demand of tomatoes processing plants in the state, would be a mirage,” he said.

[READ MORE: Dangote Tomatoes CEO seeks total ban on tomato import]

What you should know: Dangote Farms started the distribution of hybrid tomato seedlings to tomato farmers in October as part of the CBN Anchor Borrower Programme.

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Danladi-Yadakwari said though he had heard that the material with which the tomato seed is mixed with to produce the seedlings got exhausted and had to be ordered from outside the country, the farmers were not informed.

Why this matters: The delay in distribution of the seedlings would surely have a negative impact on the farmers as they would be unable to clear their farms in preparation for the next planting season.

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Fear among tomato farmers as Dangote Farms suspends seedlings distribution  

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Dangote Farms, Abdulkarim Kaita has assured that the distribution of the seedlings would soon resume as the CBN had already taken delivery of the materials (components) used in mixing the tomato seeds before producing its seedlings.

Kaita also announced that the distribution period has been extended to the end of January 2020 instead of December. 2019.

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