The Managing Director of the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) in Ibadan, Oyo State, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, has emphasis the relevance of tomato value-chain to the economic development of the Nation.
Olaniyan, at the unveiling of the tomato innovation policy in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, stated that agric commodity crops, if well managed can help in solving economic challenges of the nation, particularly on the issue of unemployment.
Dr Olaniyan, represented by the project Coordinator, Dr Olutola Oyedele, explained that the institute’s policy strategy is in line with the overall Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan which employs agric commodity crops as a tool in solving national economic challenges.
Dr Oyedele, in his remarks, said the programme is targeted at connecting shareholders including producers, marketers, input suppliers, transporters, financial institutions, etc. to explore opportunities within the tomatoes value chain.
The Bank of Agriculture (BoA), Ogbomoso branch Manager, Mr Adekunmi Ojesola revealed BoA is open to partnership with stakeholders within the tomato value chain, aiming at reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.
Earlier this year, NIHORT trained a group of women and youths on how to cultivate tomatoes and leafy vegetables, as well as adding value to horticultural crops.