Dangote reopens tomato processing plant in Nigeria
The Dangote tomato factory in Nigeria has resumed operations after the facility was closed in 2016. The large plant (processing capacity: 1,200 tonnes) of Africa’s most successful businessman, Aliko Dangote, intends to end the import of tomato paste in Nigeria, that produces more than enough tomatoes to have its own processing facilities.
The factory had to close down after the importation of tomato paste continued, and after shortfalls in the supply of fresh tomatoes and power failures. The importation of foreign paste despite the ban placed on it has hurt factory shortly after its launch. A ban on importation of tomato paste and increased the tariffs on imports of tomato concentrate from 5 percent to 50 percent was not sufficient to stop illegal imports.
Also, about 45 percent of the domestically produced tomatoes were destroyed before they reached the market, because of bad roads, exposure to weather, poor handling of the crop post-harvest, and inadequate storage facilities.
The decision to restart the Dangote factory came after the disclosure of the federal government’s resolve to finally ban the importation of tomato products into the country. According to a report by VenturesAfrica, that may not be enough. “Demonstrating strong commitment to infrastructure development (road and power) is crucial, while addressing the situation at the borders.”
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