Tomato farming has for long been a lucrative business in agriculture as a result of its high demand in consumption. Tomato is a profitable produce that stimulates food production and consumption; transformation of financial status as well as mitigating food insecurity for the well-being of the society. According to GrowAfrica.com, Tomato accounted for about 60% of the global vegetable production at 177 Million Tonnes in 2016 which currently makes Nigeria the second largest producer of fresh tomatoes in Africa, producing 10.8% of fresh tomatoes in the region. Over the last decade, the production of fresh tomatoes in Nigeria has grown by 25% from 1.8 Million Tonnes to an estimated 2.3 Million Tonnes.
It is a fact that over 80% of tomato farmers in Nigeria still cultivate tomatoes in outdated ways. This has made the average yield of tomatoes in Nigeria to gross at about 2 Tonnes while in countries like Netherland and Israel, yields of tomato can be up to 100 Tonnes per hectare. As a result of the greenhouse farming practice in these advanced countries, they have successfully achieved yields of up to 400 Tonnes per hectare of tomato. It is vital that tomato farming in Nigeria improves its productivity so that it can meet up with the rate of tomatoes production in the world, therefore, it is important that Nigeria as a nation completely embrace the culture of practicing tomato greenhouse farming in other to enhance food productivity, availability and sustainability as well as economic advancement for national growth and stability. Precision farming has been on the rise in recent time which has aided agricultural efficiency especially tomato farming. Major agribusiness companies in the nation have adopted this system and its practice which has brought about speedy outputs in tomato production. Credible researches have confirmed that the practice of greenhouse tomato farming is more advanced, yieldable and lucrative as compared to open land cultivation.
Greenhouse tomato farming is an agricultural construction specially mounted to house tomatoes for high nutrition and massive production which its impact is expected to mitigate the low productions of farmers that practice tomato farming locally. In other to ascertain food security, production and sustainability, FarmKonnect Nigeria whose mission is to contribute greatly to food security and nutrition through the use of modern agricultural technologies and methodologies has made tomato farming easy and highly productive via the application of the greenhouse farming system which contributes momentously to food security and economic growth of the country and beyond. Following the target production yield of 240,000 tons of vegetables which include tomatoes per annum from the WaVe City and Navigand Cluster Projects of FarmKonnect Nigeria, it is set to drastically improve and contribute to the present rate of tomato output in Nigeria.
In conclusion, the efficiency and relevance of the use of greenhouse farming for consumption and production of tomatoes in Nigeria cannot be downplayed; therefore, it is important that Nigeria should imbibe the modern day greenhouse practice so that food security, availability and sustainability can be achieved.