The newly-established Dangote Tomato Processing Factory in Kadawa, Kano State, has suspended production, its Managing Director, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kaita, said. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Friday that the company, which commenced production in February, had stopped production due to the lack of raw materials. He said that the company found it necessary to suspend production because there was no fresh tomatoes to process.
He added that most of the tomato farms in Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Katsina and Kaduna states were affected by a pest popularly known as “Tuta Absoluta” which killed all the tomato species there. The managing director noted that the pest had destroyed tomato farms in the affected states, making the price of the perishable commodity to go up. The tomato processing factory boss, however, said production would commence during the next irrigation season, emphasising that the company had the capacity to process 120 tonnes of fresh tomatoes per day at full capacity.