By OKECHUKWU PEACE
Nigerians after been groaning after the price of Tomato hit the the fruit by a 400 percent increase. Those who pay around 200 Naira for the same quantity of tomatoes which was sold at 50 Naira few months ago.
But while there have been different rumours concerning the tomato scarcity, the real reason for the scarcity is a devastating pest attack which has affected this year’s harvest.
Here are some quick facts about Tuta Absoluta…
*It is a pest affecting tomato farms in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Plateau states.
*Tuta absoluta is also known by the common name tomato leafminer or the South American tomato moth and has been spreading rapidly across the world from South America, where it was first discovered.
*It has the ability to destroy a whole tomato farm within 48 hours and is also very difficult to control as it has a high mutation capacity with the ability to develop a resistance to insecticides.
*Around this time last year, farmers in some parts of Nigeria recorded losses as a result of this same pest attack but the consequences of this attack weren’t reflected in the price of the commodity because the demand for the crop wasn’t as high as it is now.
*It took Sudan about three years to recover from a similar attack in 2010.
*Chemical solution to Tuta Absoluta is at best temporary. T. Absoluta can only be controlled through comprehensive program targeting all life stages.
Source – Ventures Africa, AgroNet