NIGERIA: DISEASE RAVAGES TOMATO FARMS, CAUSES SCARCITY NATIONWIDE

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Abuja, Kano, Funtua, Lagos and Port Harcourt — Tomato production in the country has been severely hit by the outbreak of disease, leaving many farms devastated across the major producing states.
Tomato farms at the Kadawa Irrigation valley, which is the major producing area and demonstration farms designed to feed the Dangote’s Dansa Tomato Company in Kano State, have been damaged by disease.
Member representing the area at the National Assembly, Honourable Muktar Chiromawa, stated that although samples are not yet collected by experts, the diseases are suspected to be tuta absoluta.
Chiromawa said they are in touch with a South African company that produces the technology that can mitigate the disease.
The lawmaker, however, noted that the effect of the disease depended on the stage it affected the plant. He said it can occur during the nursery, which killed the plant or at the time the plant was producing fruits, which could affect the quality of the fruits and the yield.
John Okwudili Ene, a consultant, development horticulturist based in Abuja stressed that spider mites, tomato seed bora and a host of other tomato diseases could cause severe economic damage to farms.
He advised farmers to always fumigate their farms before planting to avoid that kind of scenario, adding that tomato could be prone to a lot of diseases, which demand farmers to take necessary action to forestall such eventualities.
Reports from major producing and consuming states showed that the situation was responsible for huge economic loss to farmers; and created huge demand and rise in prices of the commodity across the country.
-Daily Trust

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