Farmers want extension of Lagos APPEALS project

Despite being ranked among the top tomato producers in Africa, Nigeria is currently absent among the tomato exporting countries.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, who revealed this at the launch of the HortiNigeria project in Abuja recently, attributed the development to the challenges of low yield resulting from the wrong type of seeds used by Nigerian farmers.
According to the Minister, Nigeria’s diverse ecologies, soils and climatic conditions are conducive to horticultural production.
“The Nigerian climate confers immense competitive advantage and potential to play a leading role in tomato production and trade,” Abubakar said.
He explained that the HortiNigeria initiative presents an opportunity to promote activities in the horticulture sub-sector, saying the government looks forward to catalyzing increased productivity in the sector.
Abubakar said the project is expected to facilitate business linkages and partnerships as it aims to empower more than 60,000 smallholder farmers across the country.
The project awarded to the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and its consortium partners, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer (EWS-KT), Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and KIT Royal Tropical Institute, is being implemented at Kano, Kaduna, Ogun and Oyo States, focusing on tomato, okra, onion and pepper value chains.
In his remarks, the Dutch Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk, said the horticultural sector in Nigeria offers many opportunities as local market demand for vegetables far exceeds local production, with a supply shortfall. estimated at 13 million metric tons.
He noted that the project will contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive horticulture system in Nigeria.

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