Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, has disclosed that in a bid to increase local production of fresh tomato fruit required for fresh fruit consumption and processing; increase local production of tomato concentrate and reduce post-harvest losses, the Federal Government has increased the tariff on importation of tomato concentrate to 50 percent.
The Minister, speaking on Tuesday, said further that the government has also approved an additional levy of $1,500 per metric tonne on tomato concentrate from May 7.
He pointed out that the Federal Government classified greenhouse equipment as agricultural equipment in order to attract zero per cent import duty.
Nigeria imports an average of 150,000 metric tons of tomato concentrate per annum valued at $170 million mostly due to inadequacy in capacity to produce tomato concentrate.
Current demand for fresh tomato fruits is estimated at about 2.45 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) while the country produces only about 1.8 million MTPA.
Recently, government stopped the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate put up for retail sale.
It also stopped the importation of tomatoes preserved otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid and restricted the importation of tomato concentrate to the seaports.