Again, Dangote’s tomato plant is shut


Dangote Tomato plant in Kano has been shut again, six months after it resumed operations from an almost three-year shut down.

Reports said the 1,200-ton-a-day tomato-processing factory closed down because it was unable to get its required feed stock from farmers, who switched to other crops at the beginning of the rainy season in May.

The plant was idle for more than two years until March this year over a supply disruption partly caused by a price dispute with farmers. Even after the disagreement was resolved, the factory was unable to ramp up production beyond 20% of its capacity due to inadequate supply of tomatoes, as most of the farmers lacked the needed credit to expand production.

The company is losing at least 30 million naira every month with employees idle, according to the managing director of Dangote Farms, Abdulkareem Kaita.

The plant is counting on the government’s restriction of food imports to sustain operations. When Aliko Dangote decided to set up the plant, it was with the clear goal of supplanting imports of tomato paste mostly from China.

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