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The future of Nigeria beyond oil lies in Agriculture,it is evident Nigeria currently spends three times the amount she generates monthly,data from the Ministry of finance shows Nigeria runs a 300% deficit economy,this has pushed the government especially the present administration to sensitize Nigerians to become productive and embrace local content productivity in providing consumables for a much needed population of over 160 Million people,it is not hard to imagine the urgent need for sensitizing the nation to embrace productivity through agriculture.It is clear - it is a state of emergency,though this emergency status is a gold mine for seeking investors looking for how best to invest their hard earned cash. An important case study in Agricultural productivity is tomato.Nigeria currently imports tomatoes from atleast 5 west african countries to meet up her consumption,Nigeria imports tomatoes in it's raw from several african nations from Benin republic,Ghana,Liberia,we run in search for tomatoes to meet the sky rocketing demand of the demanding population,The case even worsens for processed tomatoes as we import tomatoes from Europe and this has been consistent for the past 25years,data suggests that since the post oil-discovery Nigeria has constantly been importing tomatoes to feed her nation.

According to Raw Materials Research and Development Council,( RMRDC ) Nigeria a body that monitors the flow from production to processing of raw materials and consumption of wide varieties of commodities in Nigeria, data from RMRDC suggests Nigeria imports over 70,000 tonnes of processed tomatoes yearly worth over 13 billion Naira ( 2014 ) despite the countries production.Tomato consumption alone for the country both raw and processed tomato is valued at over 25 billion naira annually,this tantamous sum is equivalent to the massive opportunity tomato production provides the country with and investors should look no further than tomato cultivation as the opportunities that present itself is so high even if large amount of producers produce at the same time,a fair market presents itself for tomatoes production.

Nigeria is ranked the second largest producer of tomato in Africa and thirteenth in the world with a total production of 1.7 million tonnes per annum over 1 million hectares of land with a yield of 20-30tons per hectare,Yet Nigeria remains the highest importer of tomato paste from China,Italy and is constantly seeking more markets to buy tomato from.

Allow me reiterate the usefulness of tomato to inspire you to become a tomato farmer today,tomato is consumed as a fruit directly, it is used as a compulsory soup ingredient.Eighty-five percent of Nigerian soups requires tomatoes.It is used to prepare jollof rice, salads,portages,soups and stew and in combination with lots of different food product all over the land,everyone consumes it throughout the country,the entire states in the country consume country and for a country of over 160 million,atleast everybody that makes up this number apart of new born babies eat food that is prepared with tomatoes atleast twelve times a week.It goes without saying investing in tomato farming can not go unrewarded.Tomato is also processed into paste,ketchups,and used by food processing industries in a wide variety of products.


Tomatoes farmers will be a source of pride for the nation that urgently seeks people to assist the nation in combating the very difficult challenges tomato consumption presents,it goes without saying it offers fame and inspiration for countless others seeking directions for their own lives.

The tomato farmer will provide job opportunities.

Tomato has huge health benefits,it's an excellent source of anti oxidants,minerals and vitamins,the human body needs this mineral resource to fight off diseases,stimulate proper cell metabolism and enhance body vitality,more usefulness are been discovered and found daily,the tomato will be making more than profits but touching lives in a broader sense giving the farmer a good sense of self.

Apart from these benefits,tomato farming provides immense financial rewards and since the goal of an investor is profits tomato farming delivers profits without complexities an instant market awaits tomatoes farming,infact buyers don't wait for tomatoes,buyers go after it,large foostuffs market like Mile 12 and in Mushin has never been over supplied with tomatoes in the past 3 decades.


Tomato is a crop that can do well on different kind of soils,in Nigeria,it can be grown throughout the length and breadth of the country,although it will do best in black loose loam soil.It can be grown in different seasons if irrigation is employed,if irrigation is not avilable a good water supply must be prepared before cultivation the absence of this means tomato has to be cultivated during the wet season. Tomato cultivation requires obedience to the rules to get maximum yield on every production cultivation.It begins with securing land for the cultivation,after this the land is to be prepared with insecticides which have to be sprayed immediately after clearing the land and waiting for a week before cultivation. Variety of tomato to be cultivated also plays a role.It is important to cultivate the right specie that will yield more produce and make more revenue. Tomato has lots of specie,but we like to recommend the variety called Roma,this variety is common to market woman and they beg to buy it,it's qualities stands out it is big red all through it's used as canned tomato and enjoyed raw also.This specie is displayed in supermarkets where perishable foods are sold all over the country,it has a thick skin that makes it good for refrigeration and keeps it from quick spoilage.A 4-litre bucket size of tomato seeds cost about 7,000Naira.

After buying the seeds,prepare a nursery bed for propagating the seed in a nursery.Framers are encouraged to nurse the seeds around March/April window when wet season is just about to begin,spread the seeds on the ground weaned off grasses with sheds made over the seed bed,after spreading the seed over the soil,the seeds can be covered with palm tree leaves to prevent the seeds from drying out and rodents and pests from eating the seeds. Growth starts within a week but wait about 6 days more before removing the plam tree leaves used in covering the seeds,leave it for one month period so the nursed plants can grow more before commencing transplant. As stated earlier,remember to clear the ground of weeds and apply pesticides 60days before the transplant date,although the land will need another round of pulling of any weeds in sight just before the transplant again,so after clearing the land,apply insecticides,after this apply fertilizer and let the fertilizer work through the land,the land can be ploughed after fertilizer application to ensure a smooth blend and a thorough mix,animal droppings make an excellent fertilizer for tomato as they contain much needed nutrients for growth.

Tomato can be cultivated and harvested for six months continuously before the need to plant another croppings arise,harvesting begins three months after cultivation,and continues over the next three to four months. Each geographical zone of the country has at least 20 million people so sales of your product shouldn't be a problem. My advise is this produce in large quantities,best down market rates and earn more income. I'll be waiting for you at the market where i sell my own produce.



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