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FG Confirms Six States Hit By ‘Tomato Ebola’

The federal government on Tuesday confirmed the six states hit by a pest called the Tomato Leaf Miner or Tuta absoluta, commonly referred to as ‘Tomato Ebola.’

The states are Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, revealed that the pest responsible for the massive destruction of tomato in farmlands had currently invaded six states of the federation.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, he described as erroneous, claims that tomato processing factories had mopped-up tomato fruits in country.

He said the highly reproductive nature of the tomato pest coupled with favourable environment and lack of management knowledge for containment had resulted in its spread without resistance, leading to the destruction of tomato fruits in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.
Notwithstanding, he said the federal government had started consulting with states and experts to seeks measures to tackle the pest.”

He disclosed that the country spent N80 billion ($400 million) annually on importation of tomato paste, many of which highly substandard.

Credit: Thisday

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