Dangote Tomato Processing Factory, a newly commissioned company owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has suspended its operations due to the unavailability of its most important raw material – fresh tomatoes.
The Managing Director of the factory, Abdulkadir Kaita, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday that several tomato farms in in Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Katsina and Kaduna states (all located in Nigeria’s northern region), were affected by Tuta Absoluta, a leaf mining moth and common tomato pest, which destroyed all the tomato farms – a situation that has resulted in scarcity and higher prices for the commodity.
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Kaita however said that production would resume during the next irrigation season.
Dangote Group, the Nigerian conglomerate owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, launched the $20 million tomato processing facility in Kano state, northern Nigeria earlier this year. The tomato processing plant has a daily production capacity of 1,200 metric tones per day, and will primarily buy tomatoes from farmers in the Kadawa Valley in Kano state and will pay them a guaranteed price of about $700 per ton of tomatoes.