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Kaduna woos foreign investors as firm launches tomato paste

A United States agribusiness firm, Tomato Jos Farming and Processing Limited, has launched its much-anticipated ‘Tomato Jos’ paste variant into the Nigerian market.

The new tomato paste variant, packaged in a 65-gram sachet, is said to be produced directly from fresh tomatoes grown in the country.

It is the company’s first consumer product since the commencement of operations at its multi-billion-naira factory in Kaduna State.

The development excites the state government with a pledge from the 29-year-old Executive Secretary of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency, Khalil Nur Khalil, that despite the huge security challenges, it would continue to woo foreign investors to the state.

Khalil also commended the firm for believing in the state, noting that the state government would continue to support ‘Tomato Jos’ whenever the need arises.

Speaking at the event while unveiling the product, an elated Mira Mehta, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tomato Jos, said she was proud to see a dream come true.

The America-born entrepreneur said, “It is a dream come true. Though entrepreneurship is full of ups and downs, I feel encouraged whenever I see my passion for this business ignite in my colleagues.

I am incredibly proud of the Tomato Jos team for their hard work and belief that we could achieve something on this scale. The facility is the only one of its kind in Nigeria that can produce sachet tomato products directly from fresh tomatoes.

“The product is currently available throughout Kaduna State, and we intend to expand to more states by the end of 2022. Our company’s theme for 2021 was ‘Let’s Do This!’ and, well, we did it!

The future looks bright for Tomato Jos. We will continue to grow until we become a household name across Nigeria.”

Also commenting on the development, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, described the Bank’s funding of the factory as another landmark intervention to boost agribusiness, food security and food sufficiency in the country.

The processing plant sits on 500 hectares of land under lease from the Kaduna State Government, with a potential tomato cultivation area of 300 hectares.

In January 2020, there was the groundbreaking of the processing plant which attracted the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and John Coumantaros, Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria as well as Governor Nasir El-Rufai, at Kaigimi in Igabi Local Government Area of the state(Kaduna), and by March last year, the factory was operational

The facility is said to be the only one of its kind in Nigeria that can produce sachet tomato products directly from fresh tomatoes grown in the country thereby guaranteeing superior flavour and colour.

The company has over 200 full/contract workers, and a network of over 3,000 smallholder farmers who partner with us to grow year-round at yields well above the national average.

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