Nigeria’s tomato industry harvests nearly two million tons of tomatoes annually, yet about 40 percent of the crop never makes it to market.
In order to build collaboration and address overlaps in the Nigerian tomato value chain, the IGD Advisory team convened private sector leaders in Nigeria’s tomato industry for the first Tomato Working Group conference call under the Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise initiative in January 2017.
Private sector leaders joining the working group discussed policy priorities highlighted in the workshop, “Making Markets Work: A Private Sector Workshop on Reducing Post-Harvest Loss and Unlocking Potential in the Nigerian Tomato Value Chain,” which was organized by the IGD advisory team last November in Lagos, Nigeria.
Working group members also recommended action for policymakers and other value chain actors to bring about critical changes to improve value chain efficiency, enhance sourcing from smallholder farmers (SHFs) and stimulate business growth.
Recognizing that import tariffs on tomato concentrate are a major policy challenge, they recommended policy action in key critical areas to strengthen the local tomato industry.
First, the current lack of regulation, compliance standards and market information are major factors resulting in uncoordinated markets and a significant lack of clear demand signal for products, including tomatoes and tomato value-added products.
The working group stressed that policy changes are needed to help create better coordinated markets to effectively stimulate demand for tomato products.
The Nigerian government’s policy preference for large-scale operations and initiatives in Nigeria’s agribusiness sector makes it difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the necessary support to build their capacity or provide assistance to targeted groups of farmers.
Additionally, private sector leaders indicated that the financial incentives available for agribusinesses are not fulfilling their intended purpose. Consequently, companies cannot access funds due to associated financial institutions’ lack of capability and long, unpredictable delays in disbursement of funds.
In response, private sector leaders called for policy shifts to improve access to affordable, appropriate finance for the Nigerian tomato value chain stakeholders, enabling the required investment in processing facilities, technology, transport and logistics.
The working group participants also saw the need for policymakers to ensure that the financial incentives available to agribusinesses are disbursed effectively and efficiently to achieve more rapid development of the tomato value chain.
Building on these discussions, IGD will produce private sector recommendations for policymakers to help transform the tomato value chain in Nigeria.
>>Read about the blog series on exploring the role businesses can play in addressing challenges in Nigeria’s tomato processing industry.
>>To learn more about IGD’s work with the Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise initiative to reduce post-harvest loss, please click here.
Join the conversation on Twitter. Hashtag: #YieldWise, #postharvest