Nigerian processors struggle as tomato prices jump ninefold

An ninefold jump in tomato prices in Africa’s biggest economy is piling pressure on processors and forcing them to discontinue processing the fresh vegetable, BusinessDay findings show.

Prices of tomato, a key cooking ingredient in Nigeria, have surged 847 percent year to date owing to the invasion of Tuta Absoluta in major producing states in May and the current rainy season.

The situation has left Nigeria’s tomato paste and concentrate production industry at a standstill as the country’s largest processor and two other medium-sized factories have shut down, perpetuating the importation and smuggling of triple concentrate into Nigeria.