As part of her Economic Empowerment and Development Project, a Kaduna based Non Governmental Organization, Zamani Foundation has trained 39 farmers and entrepreneurs on Good Handling Practices (GHP) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the production of tomatoes.
The essence of the training according to the organizer was as a result of the over 45% wastage in tomatoes production in Nigeria annually, and the worries of over 360 million dollars spent on tomatoes importation.
In her opening remarks, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zamani Foundation, Mrs. Talatu Zamani-Henry, noted that with the abundant natural resources in the country, Nigeria has all it takes to feed herself and generate surplus agricultural product for export.
However, Talatu, lamented that although Nigeria is the leading producer of tomato in Africa, ironically she remained the largest importer of tomato paste in the world due to her inability to convert excess production to alternative products like tomato paste or tomato juice.
Presenting an overview of the training, she explained that the Kaduna training is a step down from the ‘Gems 4 Training of Master Trainers’ in Kano and ‘Gems 4 learning event’ in Kaduna State.
Some of the areas where participants received training are; introduction to Hygiene and food safety, pack house operations and production controls.
Others are introduction to GAP use of plastic crates for fresh produce distribution packing house operations, etc.
Practicals were also carried out in the following areas; use of market intelligence in cooperative supply chain, cooperative bylaws, formations and conflict resolutions.
An experiment on how to set up tomato farming with agricultural value chain and bylaws and how they will use GAP and GHP in carrying out their activities was also done.