Erisco partners Asian consortium to build 750,000 mT Katsina tomato factory
Nigerian press announced in mid-October that Erisco Foods is partnering a consortium of Asian tomato paste producers to establish a 750,000 metric tonnes per annum tomato paste processing plant in Katsina State. President Umeofia recently said the project is scheduled to commence by the first quarter of 2018, and that on completion in 2020, it would employ about 15,000 factory workers.
Umeofia said products from the factory would also be exported to other African countries to earn foreign exchange for the country.
Umeofia commended the Federal Government for banning the importation of tomato paste, “The Asian consortium refused to collaborate with us when the importation of tomato paste was in full swing [because it was more lucrative to import tomato paste than manufacture locally]. They started indicating interest now because of the recent ban on imported tomato paste,” he said.
In August, the Nigerian authorities disclosed that over N6 billion (USD 16.6 million, val. August 2017) is currently been expended annually in foreign exchange by Nigeria on tomato products imports: “With an annual national domestic demand estimated at 2.4 million metric tonnes, only about 1.7 million metric tonnes is produced annually, leaving a deficit of 700,000 metric tonnes due to cultivation of existing low yield varieties and high post-harvest losses”.