Speaking in Lagos on Monday, Umeofia said heat wave caused by the effects of climate change had destroyed tomato farms belonging to processors in the northern parts of the country.
He said processors need foreign exchange for the procurement of the seedlings and other tools, to sustain the country’s sufficiency in local production of tomato paste.
“Reduced access to fresh tomatoes has affected our production capacity, as we are presently producing below capacity,” he said.
“We need forex to import heat-resistant seedlings and treatment tools to continue production.
“Access to foreign exchange will mitigate the reccurrence and reduce the influx of imported, substandard tomato paste into the country.”
Dangote Tomato Processing Factory in Kadawa, Kano State, has suspended production due to lack of access to fresh tomatoes for production.
The company said pests have destroyed its tomato farms in the northern parts of the country.