Nigeria: Farmers face loss of tomato crop due to pest infestation

| May 30, 2016

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Nigerian farmers in several states may lose their entire tomato crop because of an infestation of a species of leafminer called Tuta absoluta.

The pest infestation has affected farmers in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau, and Lagos states. The government has called upon experts to stop the spread of the pests and to support affected farmers.

Audu Ogbeh is Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He said, “These experts who have been called in to appraise the situation will set to work on methods that have worked in other countries.”

In Lagos state, tomatoes are now selling for as much as 30,000–35,000 naira per large basket, 10 times the usual price.

Mr. Ogbeh added, “We also need to educate farmers on how to control the infestation, and we also need to raise new nurseries. The process is much like an immunization program.”

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Photo credit: Daily Post