Tomato scarcity persists as pests ravage northern farms - News and More

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Monday, 23 May 2016

Tomato scarcity persists as pests ravage northern farms

Farmers in Kaduna state are counting their losses following the destruction of their farms by pests which continue to affect tomato in many northern states.

In Kaduna alone, about N1 billion worth of tomatoes are said to have been destroyed by the pests known  as Tuta Absoluta, which has ravaged farms across and led to nationwide scarcity of tomatoes.
The newly established Dangote Tomato Processing Factory in Kadawa, Kano State, recently suspended production as most of the tomato farms in Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Katsina and Kaduna states were affected byTuta Absoluta.
Already, the Kaduna state government has declared a state of emergency on tomato farming in the state as a result of  the destructive pests.
The state is noted for the production of tomatoes in commercial quantity, with 12 local government areas  engaged in the farming.
The commissioner of agriculture, Maigari Daniel Manzo, at a news conference in Kaduna on Monday, said  80 per cent  of tomato farms have been ravaged the pests.
He said the state government was worried over the situation, hence the decision to declare a state of emergency in the sector.
According to him, over  200 tomato farmers in  three out of the 12 tomato producing Local Government Areas of the state, were affected by the pests, adding that the farmers had suffered loses worth about one billion naira in  the last one month.
Manzo disclosed that, some officials of the state ministry agriculture had  been sent to Kenya to discuss  with experts and  proffer  solutions to the problem.
“I want to say that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has declared a state-of-emergency on tomatoes in the state. This is as a result of invasion of the crops by a pest named tomato blight botanically known as Tuta Aboluta,” he said.
“In the past one month 12 local government areas of the state who produce tomatoes have lost 80 per cent of their tomatoes harvest.
“In three local government areas about 200 famers have lost One billion naira worth of their tomatoes. So you can imagine the magnitude of the lose.
“It is so severe that even Dangote who has established a tomato processing plant in Kano, had to shut down production.”

(The Cable)

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