No fewer than 30 tomato farmers’ cooperative groups in Kano State are expected to benefit from the Bank of Agriculture’s loan facility this year.
Alhaji Sani Danladi-Yadakwari, the Secretary General, Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Kano .
He said under the arrangement, the bank would purchase small cottage processing machines and distribute to the farmers’ groups in the state.
“The bank will not give us money but will buy the small cottage processing machines and give to farmers as loan who will later repay the bank.
“Each machine is expected to cost between N3.5 million and N5 million. So farmers are expected to use the machines to process their fresh tomato.”
He said the association and management of the bank would soon conclude the necessary discussion on modalities of disbursing the loan.
“This will not only reduce waste but the machines will encourage farmers to produce more, “ Danladi-Yadakwari said.
He commended Kano state government for providing 5, 200 farmers each with six litres of cypermathirine pesticide and four grammes of improved variety of tomato seeds free.
He said the gesture was in fulfilment of the earlier promise made by the state government after the outbreak of the Tuta Absoluta pest which affected many tomato farms in Kano and other neighbouring states more than three years ago.
“The state government deserves to be commended for this gesture as it will go along way in encouraging farmers to remain in the business after the Tuta Absoluta invasion.
The secretary general urged the farmers to make the best use of the opportunity to boost tomato production in the state.