Dangote Opens Tomato Factory to Vie With Chinese Imports

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote

The Dangote Group, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has opened a tomato-processing factory near Nigeria’s northern city of Kano aimed at vying for the local market with imports from China.

“We have fully started operations today and the target is 1,200 metric tons per day,” the managing director of Dangote Farms Limited, which runs the plant, Abdulkareem Kaita, said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg.

“We are going to work with the farmers, they can afford to produce more because there’s a processing factory and they don’t have to suffer losses like they did before.”

The plant that will produce 1,200 metric tons per day was built following a 2011 Central Bank of Nigeria study that showed it was cheaper to process tomato paste locally than import from China, the source of about 300,000 tons a year worth $360 million.

Yet the country produces 1.5 million tons of tomatoes annually of which about 900,000 tons rot, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Dangote’s facility will produce more than 400,000 tons of paste annually, with most of its raw material coming from farmers in the Kadawa Valley in Kano state.

Farmers will receive a guaranteed price of about $700 per ton compared to an average of less than $350 now, according to estimates by the central bank, which helped organise the farmers and arrange credit from banks.

The Dangote Group owns businesses including cement plants, flour mills, fruit canning plants, palm oil refineries, salt and oil assets.

  • njace

    why is my comment being removed moderator?
    What happened to freedom f speech?

  • njace

    Nigeria needs healthy competition. We cannot not have one man have the monopoly of being the sole producer of goods that are needed by the masses. Nigeria needs competitive environment to help all of those who have different financial backgrounds. For example the Chinese might produce a lesser grade tomato but that poor madame that down the road might only be able to afford that as opposed to Dangote’s tomatoes. We need options and healthy competition for Nigeria to stabilize prices for the masses

  • Dario

    Is Nigeria starting to become serious? Or is it just that Dangote is the only serious person in Nigeria? Who knows?

  • queeneth ekeocha

    Thumbs up Sir! This means so much in cushioning the import effect of tomatoes in our economy!

  • ubong

    May God continue to bless you for having the mindset of developing the nation and helping nigerians gain employment. your attitude is what nigerians public officers lacked. I hope we culd have more people like you in the country. If Abacha and their likes had invested all our collecetive money theyselfishly looted in the country, the issue of marginalzation, north/south infoghting would have not be envisaged. We are hearing about Late Abacha loot simply becuase he never willingly retired like OBJ, IBB and others. Dangote, may God bless and continue to give you wisdom to help and employ our teaming jobless nigerians. Thanks

  • Governor

    This is great initiative by Dangote group. This is part of diversification Nigeria needs now to conserve our foreign reserve by limiting importation and encourage export. The CBN moves that remove tomato paste importer foreign exchange lists is gradually paying off.

  • omodafididafidi

    Please what’s the name of the tomatoes paste?
    Also I commend the dieting of the factory near the source of the raw material, I know that a tomatoes processing factory was also recently opened in Lagos by another Nigerian entrepreneur at whuch opening ceremont was graced by tge first lady and I was wondering why Lagos and not near the source of the raw materials however considering the security situation of boko harem I don’t blame him. My fill support to both these Nigerian patriots . Buy made in Nigeria

  • Artful ºDodger

    This is patriotism and someone putting his money where his mouth is. The rest of Nigeria so called billionaires are mere petty thieves whose only business has always been stealing from the government. From Sugar to fruit juice etc, Dangote has become a household name in Africa. Just imagine Nigeria now exporting tomatoe pastes to the rest of Africa, the employment that will create for farmers and other production chain in the society.

  • abigwary


    • Baba Ijebu

      I know of at least two billionaires from my area and you cannot pin point what kind of business they run and guess what, they are politicians and PDP members.

      • abigwary

        They should marry Igbo women, they wll empower them.

        • Dr ebenuwa