Tuesday 24 May 2016

Kaduna State Govt. announces outbreak of tomato disease; ...declares state of emergency

The Kaduna State government has declared a state of emergency on tomato, following an outbreak of tomato blight that has wiped out about 80% of tomato farms in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Manzo Maigari, disclosed this at a news conference to mark the one year anniversary of the Nasir El-Rufai administration in the state.

He said that the disease outbreak is largely responsible for the scarcity of tomatoes in the country.

While explaining that the tomato disease is caused by an insect called ‘leaf miner’, which eats up the tomato leaves and the soft parts, the Commissioner disclosed that a team of officials from the ministry have been dispatched to Kenya to seek intervention.

Manzo said over 200 tomato farmers in three Local Government Areas of the state were affected by the destructive pests, adding that the farmers had suffered losses worth N1 billion in the last one month.

The commissioner said already some officials of the ministry of agriculture had been sent to Kenya to liaise with experts with a view to finding 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 the invasion of the crops by a pest named tomato blight botanically known as tuta absoluta.

“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 commissioner said.

Credit: Channels/ThisDay

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