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Background: Tomato is an essential and remunerative staple food widely grown and consumed in all parts of Nigeria. The northern parts of the country produce ninety-eighth percent of the tomatoes consumed annually. However, higher percentages of tomatoes produced in these regions are lost due to gaps recorded in its value chain.
Principal Findings: Tomato value chain needs to be strengthened from production to processing, preservation and good marketing structure. Challenges bedevilling tomato value chain in Nigeria include poor accessibility to production inputs such as seeds, nurseries, fertilizers; poor packing systems and transportation problems; marketing challenges and yield reduction caused by a complex of arthropod pests attacking the crop. The major arthropod pests inflicting economic damage on tomato include fruit borer, whitefly, aphid, thrips and leaf miners.
Interventions: Considering the Nigerian Government’s recent interventions: “close border”, increased tariffs on the importation, and different incentives such as “tax holiday” and introduction of zero percent import duty on greenhouse equipment, soft loans through Bank of Agriculture as well as a national collaborative effort against the menace of tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) invasion; How much of these interjectory efforts have translated to the realization of national self-sufficiency in the tomato value chain?
Conclusion: This paper highlights the general introduction of tomato, its botany, nutritional benefits, tomato value chain in Nigeria, Nigerian government interventions towards its sustainability with particular focus on research cocktails at combating the problems of arthropod pests on the tomato to identify the probable critical solutions to these harmful pests.
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