The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has presented improved tomato seeds to the Taraba State Government for onward distribution to vegetable farmers in the state.
Dr Huseni Ibrahim, the Director-General of the council, who presented the seeds to Gov. Darius Ishaku in Jalingo on Saturday, said that the venture was aimed at boosting tomato cultivation in the state.
Ibrahim was represented by Dr Sunday Onjewu, while the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr David Kassa, represented the governor at the event.
Ibrahim, who said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration intended to transform the nation’s economy via agriculture, urged the farmers to take due advantage of the current opportunity to turn around their fortunes.
“I urge all of you to take advantage of this opportunity to improve your standard of living and boost the country’s economy with massive production of tomato.
“The move is to check the huge importation of tomato into the country and strengthen the Naira for economic growth,” he said.
Ibrahim said that the council would monitor the cultivation and distribution of the seeds so as to ensure that the beneficiaries of the intervention were genuine tomato farmers.
Also Speaking, Dr Asanga Enefiol, the Director of RMRDC’s States Coordination Department, appealed to the state government to set up small tomato processing plants that would utilise the anticipated tomato yields.
Enefiol, who was represented by Alhaji Wali Lapai, said that the council selected Plateau, Taraba and Nassarawa State for the tomato project because of their great potential for tomato production.
In a remark, Alhaji Abdullahi Ahmed, the RMRDC Coordinator in Taraba, urged the state government to revive the Lau Tomato Processing Company to check perennial wastage in tomato harvests.
Receiving the seeds, Ishaku commended the RMRDC for the tomato project, saying that it was in line with his administration’s “Greenhouse Farming Initiative”.
He pledged to ensure the judicious use of the improved tomato seeds so as boost tomato production in the state.
The governor thanked the council for facilitating the fulfilment his administration’s policy of creating platforms for employment generation in the state.