Nigeria has developed draft codes of practices for the tomato value chain from planting, harvesting, processing and transportation to Storage.
The draft codes were designed by the Technical Committee for Fruits and Vegetable Products with the support of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).
Speaking during the Technical Committee Meeting in Abuja, the Director – General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma Esq, expressed delight about plans by the Committee to further simplify the draft codes, using pictorials and translation into the major Nigerian languages for easy comprehension by all stakeholders, irrespective of the levels of education.
In Picture : Barrister Richard Agu, Chief of Staff to DG, SON (Standing) presenting the opening address to the Technical Committee meeting.
Represented by the Chief of Staff to Director -General, Barrister Richard Agu, Aboloma expressed confidence in the Committee’s capacity to produce implementable codes of practices for tomato from planting to storage, export and consumption, given the level of technical knowledge and experience that abound in the membership.
Commenting on the Committee’s task, the Chairperson, Dr. Abiola Oke of National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, described the Nigerian Codes of practice for tomato as the national guides for farmers and processors to meet the requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards in providing quality raw materials to local processing plants.
The aim of the codes is to help farmers produce safe, fresh tomato as raw materials for the local industries thereby reducing the importation of processed tomato products which is a burden on Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings”
She stated that the codes will facilitate safe production of tomato for consumption through prioritized use of bio-pesticides as well as other human and environmentally safe operational measures.
The final drafts have been submitted to the SON Management for consideration and approval by the Nigerian Standards Council.