The leadership of tomato farmers in Kano State has said that tomato plantations in some places across the state have been attacked by pests suspected to be tuta absoluta, one of the most devastating pests affecting tomato crops in the world.
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 observed the presence of the pest in their farms, adding that measures are being taken by the association to address the attack.
According to him, the attack is a bad omen as tomato production in the state hasn’t been encouraging this season, adding that the resurfacing of the pest will compound the issue of possible tomato shortage this year as tomato availability might be hindered.
“We have noticed the pest attack in Garun Mallam LGA and some parts of Bunkure LGA and from our previous experiences, we suspected that the pest is tuta absoluta. We have taken measures on our part and we have written to the federal ministry of agriculture notifying them of the attack. Indeed, it is a bad omen to tomato farmers at this point in time when availability is in question. There is a need for government and other stakeholders to intervene to address the attack,” he said.
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However, findings have shown that the pest has been recurring from time to time after its discovery in the state in 2016. Tomato farmers and government agencies have been trying in the fight against the pest, but such efforts couldn’t eradicate the pest completely.
When contacted, the director Kano State federal ministry of agriculture, Alhaji Baba Gana, said the ministry was currently in talks with TOGAN and that as soon as they gather the necessary information on the pest attack, appropriate action would be taken to curtail its spread. He explained that the ministry would not relent in its effort to ensure a healthy operating environment for farmers across the nation.
“The ministry will soon begin operations that will arrest the spread of the pest to other places and that will soon be done as we are currently in talks with TOGAN on the matter,” he said.
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