Badagry tomato farmers lose N200m worth of produce to heavy wind


Tomato farmers in the Dadi Louis community, located on an island in Iworo, Olorunda Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the Badagry division in Lagos State, have reported significant losses of over N200 million due to strong winds that affected their farms between March and June this year.

According to Tiamiyu Afeez, the Chairman of Itesiwaju Cooperative Multipurpose Society, the farmers’ cooperative society, they have been cultivating tomatoes on the island for over 20 years, utilizing more than 35 acres of land. The farming season is divided into two periods, with the first season running from March to June and the second season from July to September.

At the beginning of the season, the farmers borrowed over N100 million from banks and individuals to finance their tomato production on the vast land. The usual practice is to repay the loans with half of the money collected from the sale of tomatoes. However, in May, strong winds destroyed all the crops, resulting in a loss of over N200 million for the farmers.

Many of the farmers were forced to sell their personal belongings and properties to stay afloat in the business. Some even had to approach the banks and creditors they owed money to request an extension for loan repayment, which was granted due to the circumstances.

The chairman emphasized that if they hadn’t suffered losses due to the strong winds, the tomato supply from their farms in Badagry would have contributed significantly to meeting the demand during the last Eld-el-Kabir festival, helping to reduce the shortfall from the northern regions.

In light of the challenges faced by the farmers, they are appealing to the local council chairman, Lagos State Government, and the Federal Government for assistance in improving tomato production. They require tractors to replace traditional tools such as hoes and cutlasses, which limit their productivity. Additionally, they are seeking financial support and access to affordable seedlings, as the cost of seedlings has more than doubled.

The farmers also call on the government to provide assistance with transportation logistics to ensure seamless delivery of their harvested tomatoes to the market. They express gratitude for the support received from a non-governmental organization (NGO), which has provided water projects, loans, and off-takers for their produce.

With the support of the government and relevant stakeholders, the tomato farmers hope to overcome these challenges and enhance their productivity, contributing to the agricultural sector and meeting the demand for tomatoes in Lagos State.

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