• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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June TalkExchange poll: How can Nigeria improve tomato availability annually?

June TalkExchange poll How can Nigeria improve tomato availability annually

Contrary to popular belief, the recent surge in tomato prices in Nigeria is not solely due to the notorious ‘Tuta Absoluta’ pest. Instead, two key factors are driving up costs which are seasonality and transportation expenses Businessday reported.

Tomatoes thrive in specific seasons, facing challenges during heavy rains. Prices climb annually in June due to reduced availability from constant rainfall.

Transporting fresh tomatoes from northern Nigeria is expensive due to slow travel on poor roads during the rainy season, which raises costs. High humidity during transit also damages the fruits, impacting prices further.

Tomato prices in Nigeria are skyrocketing due to multiple factors such as transport costs for 12- and 14-tyre trucks hauling 335 and 370 baskets respectively, ranging from N3.1 to N3.3 million; illegal levies; and the devastating impact of Tuta Absoluta, causing an 80% loss in Kano’s tomato farms.

Nigeria, Africa’s second-largest producer after Egypt, struggles with storage and wastage issues, exacerbating local supply shortages. Policymakers and farmers must find sustainable solutions to stabilize tomato availability and prices.

Considering the recurring annual tomato scarcity, what improvements could have been implemented?

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