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June 17, 2024
Fact Feed


By Ify Mgbemena 

Nigeria is ranked the second largest producer of tomatoes in Africa and 13th in the world with a total production estimate at 1 million hectares of land producing 1.701 million Tonnes per annum with an average of 20-30 tons/hectare.

Tomato is no doubt one of the world’s most highly consumed vegetables as it is found in a lot of meals across the globe. 

In Nigeria, particularly with a population of over 160 million, tomatoes command a huge demand, especially in the urban areas where it is sought after by households to prepare their favorite meals.

Cultivation can be done in gardens, pots, open fields, containers, greenhouses, etc.

 The average harvesting period after planting is 60 days to more than 80 days depending on the variety. Tomato farming was mostly practiced in the northern part of Nigeria before. But now people can cultivate it in the southern parts too.

Uses of tomatoes

1. Fresh in salads: Tomatoes are a staple in salads. Slice them and toss them with lettuce, cucumber, onions, and your favorite dressing for a refreshing salad.

2. Salsa: Make homemade salsa by combining diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. It’s a great accompaniment to tortilla chips, tacos, or grilled meats.

3. Pasta sauce: Simmer tomatoes with garlic, onions, herbs, and spices to create a flavorful pasta sauce. You can use fresh tomatoes or canned tomato puree for convenience.

4. Tomato soup: Blend cooked tomatoes with onions, garlic, vegetable broth, and cream for a comforting tomato soup. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich for a classic combination.

5. Stewed tomatoes: Cook tomatoes with herbs, onions, and a touch of sugar to create a delicious stewed tomato base. It can be used as a topping for rice, quinoa, or couscous.

6. Roasted tomatoes: Slice tomatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven until caramelized. Roasted tomatoes can be used in sandwiches, salads, or as a side dish.

7. Tomato juice: Blend ripe tomatoes and strain the pulp to obtain fresh tomato juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper for a refreshing and healthy drink.

8. Bruschetta: Top slices of toasted bread with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil for a delicious appetizer or snack.

9. Tomato-based curries: Tomatoes are a base for many curries. Combine them with spices, vegetables, and protein of your choice to create flavorful Indian or Thai curries.

10. Stuffed tomatoes: Hollow out ripe tomatoes and fill them with a mixture of rice, vegetables, cheese, or meat. Bake them until tender for a tasty and visually appealing dish.

11. Tomato jam: Simmer tomatoes with sugar, lemon juice, and spices to create a sweet and tangy tomato jam. It pairs well with cheese, crackers, or as a condiment for sandwiches.

12. Tomato tart: Use sliced tomatoes as a topping for a savory tart. Arrange them on a pastry crust with cheese, herbs, and seasonings, and bake until golden and bubbly.

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