Dizengoff Highlights Importance Of Greenhouse On Tomato Production | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Dizengoff Highlights Importance Of Greenhouse On Tomato Production

Posted: May 6, 2016 at 1:08 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Seyi Taiwo-Oguntuase, Lagos Integrated Project Manager, Sustainable Livelihoods, Dizengoff Nigeria, Mr. Oscar Walumbe, has advised farmers who are into production of tomatoes and vegetables to embrace greenhouse to cultivate their produce so as to ensure better yields.
Walumbe, who gave the advice while speaking with newsmen at the company’s media field day in Lagos, said one advantage of using greenhouse is that farmers can grow vegetables and crops at any time of the year, stressing that this is because it allows them to extend the seasons and produce a wide range of vegetables.

He advised farmers to use greenhouse to grow out-of-season crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, basil, and other vegetables where they can command high prices in the market, adding that greenhouse cultivation, enables farmers to grow their crops under optimized and standardised conditions, which protects the plants from pests and bad weather.

According to him, “Nigeria consumes over 2.3 million tonnes of tomatoes annually, while it currently produces about 1.8 million tonnes locally. Only 50 per cent (0.9 million tonnes) of the produce makes it from farm to fork, thereby creating an immediate gap of 1.4 million tonnes to fill.
Adding, “This gap is essentially filled via importation, a scenario which puts more pressure on the demand for the already scarce US dollars.
He stated further that Nigerians can now leverage on the immense opportunity offered by the Dizengoff Farmers’ Kits.
“We can limit the foreign exchange spent on importing tomatoes annually while also providing employment for our teeming but unemployed youths,” he said.

Chief Executive of Dizengoff Nigeria, Mr. Antti Retnovano, stated that now is a difficult time for Nigeria and many other African countries, but expressed optimism that agriculture would go a long way in boosting the economy.

He also said the greenhouse and other farm technologies would assist in the agricultural productivity and empowerment.
According to him, the Dizengoff Farmers’ Kit (DFK) is a technology which was specifically developed to enable farmers to produce high quality, fresh tomatoes all year round anywhere in Nigeria.

“The kit yields up to four tonnes of tomatoes in a six-month season from a single (8m x 24m) greenhouse.
“In comparison, the traditional open field tomato cultivation with best agricultural practices yields a maximum of 7 tonnes per hectare (10,000m2). Clearly, the DFK replicated over one hectare yields 19 times more tomatoes than the traditional open field cultivation,” he said.
Humphrey Otalor, Marketing Communications Manager explained that the kit offers good employment opportunity for Nigerians, both directly and indirectly.

He said it could create about 1000 jobs directly and indirectly in the next two years with the participation from both the private and public sectors.

“Our strategy in bridging the gap in tomatoes production is to ensure that farming is made attractive even among our youths, through modern technology with the greenhouse farming concept and access to quality inputs and technical support. We know that there are readily available markets for the quality of tomatoes produces in our greenhouses.”