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00:00:00
>> Tins of tomato paste coming off a factory line in northern Nigeria. This state of the art facility, Nigeria's biggest tomato factory, opened in March 2016. But today the hum of machinery has been silenced. A sign of Nigeria's difficulties in trying to move away from its $20 billion reliance on food imports.
00:00:20
As Reuters's Olf Lessing explains.>> I'm here in the Lagos market where they sell tomatoes. All the tomatoes come from northern Nigeria, I've been just back from a trip there to see a plant where they produce, or want to produce tomato paste which is a staple in Nigeria.
00:00:37
But the problem here is that the farmers, they work with their bare hands. They don't have tractors, they don't have irrigation systems, so they aren't able to produce the quantity and the quality to feed this new tomato plant which was set up by Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest man.
00:00:54
Dangote spent $12.74 million setting up the plant, a bid to domestically produce some of the 400,000 tons of tomato paste that Nigeria imports annually. He now plans to spend around $26 million more to settle the tomato cultivation system to provide the factory with 70% of the tomatoes it needs.
00:01:15
>> This plant kind of symbolizes the challenge Nigeria has to produce its own food. Much of its food comes from abroad. The government wants to change this. But the farmers they have no tools, no cold rooms to produce tomatoes, so half of the country's tomato output of 1.5 million ton gets wasted.
00:01:39
>> And that's a blow to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.>> The first steps are land reform and self-sufficiency.>> He's made it a priority to end Nigeria's reliance on food imports under the motto, we must produce what we eat.