NGO partners firms to boost tomato production in Badagry

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Heifer International, has said that it is partnering two agro-based firms, Agric Topic Vegetable Seed and Captain Nigeria, to boost tomato production in Dadi Louis community, Iworo in Badagry Division of Lagos State.

The NGO’s Country Director, Mr. Rufus Idris, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday, during the visit of officials of the partners to the community, an Island opposite Whispering Palms in Iworo, Olorunda Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the state, said the mission of the NGO was to end poverty, adding that the partnership would go a long way in supporting farmers on the Island.

“We are here today to have an engagement, to interact with some of the tomato farmers, because in Nigeria, tomato is a key produce.

“We have farmers who are producing in large quantities, and they are struggling a lot in terms of access to market for their products.

“They are struggling to access finance and also struggling to access reasonable water and do all-season farming.

“We are here to understand their problems and challenges and start a process so that we can start mapping these farmers’ farm sizes and see how we can help to lift them out of poverty,” he said.

Idris said the bringing of the food processing company to the Island was to buy tomatoes directly from farmers and improve their livelihoods.

He said the NGO was bringing the right technology to the area to boost tomato production and farmers’ income, adding that the NGO would bring solar energy to the community to reduce dependency on petrol.

Also, Marketing Manager, E-Commerce of Agrictropic Vegetable Seed Nigeria Ltd, Moye Ibo, said she was on the Island to promote tomato production.

She urged the government to reduce taxes payable by young companies coming into the country for the production of tomatoes.

Similarly, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Captain Foods Ltd., Mr. Kachi Ekezie, said he was so excited to locate a tomato production facility in Lagos.

Ekezie, therefore, urged Lagos State government to help the farmers by subsidising the prices of fertiliser so they could afford it and use it to boost their production.

He said the farmers also needed to be sensitised on the seeds, the fertilisers and everything they needed to produce.

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