The Dangote Tomato processing company in Kano is to commence packaging of the tomato paste in the state by next year, the Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Lawal Kaita has said.
Kaita, who made the disclosure yesterday while conducting members of Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI) round the company, said plant and other equipment for packaging of tomato would be installed in the company next year.
DAILY TRUST reports that the managing director lamented that “most of the company that are into the business of packaging of tomato preferred foreign processed tomato to locally-grown tomatoes”
He explained that although the company is processing 40 trucks of tomato per day, but the market was not favourable as indigenous factories that are into packaging business had stopped buying the raw materials from Dangote for the past four years.
“The factories preferred importing the raw materials from outside the country because it is cheaper. It is cheaper but it is poisonous because it contains too much preservative chemicals that are harmful to human beings. Until government ban importation of tomato completely, indigenous tomato processing company cannot see the light of the day.
“We are hoping that by next year, Dangote tomato factory will commence packaging of its product. We have already provided farmers with improved tomato seeds that give the company the needed quantity of tomato, we have established our own green house where we nurse the improved seeds for onward distribution to farmers after it matured,” he said.
Earlier, chairman of KCCI, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa said they were at the company for facts finding, noting that the initiative was formed purposely to help Kano indigenes that were into various businesses within and outside the state.
Tofa explained that the KCCI had so far visited 17 companies and other places of businesses owned by Kano indigenes with a view to assess their conditions and see how the initiative could help them improve their businesses.
“We also visited 16 more companies and places of businesses owned by Kano indigenes. We have met with big Kano business men, academicians, government officials at both state and federal levels in our effort to restore the lost glory of the state. We will not relent in our efforts to move Kano to greater heights,” he assured.