The Managing Director of Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), Professor Mahmud Daneji, has revealed that over five tomato producing areas in the state have been ravaged by a the Tuta Absoluta pest.
This, he said, may result in serious tomato shortage in the state.
“Even though, as stakeholders, we have waded in with an emergency intervention approach to arrest the situation, there is no doubt that the availability of tomato in the market is going to be seriously affected and also its price will be affected too.
“We have recorded the outbreak in over five tomato producing areas and the pest attack is confirmed to be that of Tuta Absoluta,” he stated.
Tomato farmers in some parts of Kano State have expressed concern that the recent attack, said to be by the Tuta Absoluta tomato pest, has the ability to destroy a whole tomato farm within 48 hours.
Speaking to newsmen in Kano on the issue, the state chairman of Tomato Out Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), Alhaji Sani Danladi, said when the reports of the damage done to tomato plantations became so rampant, the leadership of the association wrote to the authorities concerned on the issue.
According to him, a rapid response committee was constituted to ascertain the nature of the pest and also the level of damage and losses incurred by farmers.
“Our members have incurred huge losses, especially in Garun Babba, Rano and some parts of Suma’ila. However, from what we heard, our suspicion of Tuta Absoluta attack was confirmed by the committee and it was also reliably gathered that pesticides, seeds and other inputs for the affected farmers had already being procured and would soon be distributed to them,’’ the chairman said.
Our reporter recalled that tomato farmers in the state suffered similar attack in 2015, said to be the worst attack ever experienced in the state.