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Again, Kano tomato farmers groan as tuta absoluta ravages farms

The leadership of tomato farmers in Kano State has revealed that they were plunged into problems as tuta absoluta pest is alleged to have resurfaced…

The leadership of tomato farmers in Kano State has revealed that they were plunged into problems as tuta absoluta pest is alleged to have resurfaced in all Kano irrigation sites at Garun Malam, Kura, Bunkure, among others.

Tuta Absoluta has been one of the most devastating pests affecting tomato crop in the world. The pest has rendered many farmland and tomato farmers hopeless which has negatively affected tomato production in Kano State.

Speaking to Daily Trust  on Sunday on the pest resurfacing in some tomato producing areas in the state, chairman of Tomato Out Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN) Alhaji Sani Danladi Yadakwari stated that farmers had taught they would be able to control the pest, but indicators have shown that the pest has overpowered them, as many are now groaning in desperation while counting their loses.

According to him, it is an understatement to connote that tuta absoluta has never left the state since its emergence in 2016, adding that despite the fact that farmers have been advancing in the fight against the pest, it is clear that the pest is fighting back so hard.

“We have tried to fight the menace of this pest for years in terms of managing the pests’ attack, but little has been done on the government’s side. We learnt that inputs to fight the pest have been procured; unfortunately, the pesticide is yet to be distributed to farmers. When we followed up on the matter, we were told that there is a need to subject farmers to adequate training on best processes to adopt in the use of the pesticide. It has been there at the warehouses since last year, and here we are getting hit so hard by the pest,” he revealed.

He urged authorities concerned to release the pesticide for usage and quickly organise a training session that will equip tomato farmers with the skills to use the pesticide effectively.

Malam Alhassan Ubale is a tomato farmer at Danhassan village in Kura Local Government Area of Kano State. According to him, he had since removed the tomato he earlier planted and replaced it with maize so as not to lose the fertiliser he applied on the land.

He explained that he had hopes that this year’s harvest will be better than that of last year only to find traces of tuta on the farm. According to him, he tried his best to save his tomato plantation but to no avail, and he was forced to remove the tomato and plant maize instead.

“There are many people like me in this part of the irrigation site whose tomato plantations have been attacked by the persistent Tuta Absoluta pest. While some of us were able to remain on the farm, many have chosen to leave the farm completely because they have made huge investments and the pest has rendered the tomato plantation useless. For years, we have been battling this pest and no one seems to care about it,” he said.

The recent pest’s attack is said to have affected several farm lands across Kano River irrigation sites thereby affecting the year’s tomato supply.

Another tomato farmer, Isa Haruna Dorawa, says if care is not taken, the state may experience serious scarcity of tomato. He added that the attack being experienced is so serious and alarming, urging all stakeholders involved to come to the aid of the farmers.

However, attempts to get the Managing Director of Kano Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) wasn’t successful. Sources confirmed that a report was received from farmers and has been forwarded to the state ministry of agriculture for action in addressing the pest attack.

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