It's not news that Nigeria has been experiencing a severe shortage of tomatoes which has seen a major hike in tomato prices.
How 'tomato ebola' is causing severe shortage of tomatoes in Nigeria
It has since emerged that a moth known as Tuta absoluta has been ravaging tomato farms in Northern Nigeria, leading to the destruction of over 80% of farms in Kaduna state.
Speaking on the development, the Kaduna state agriculture commissioner, Manzo Daniel revealed that the state had declared a state of emergency over the crisis.
According to him, the moth outbreak is fast spreading across the north and if drastic measures aren't taken, there could be disastrous consequences for the country.
He also revealed that more than 200 tomato farmers in the region have already suffered losses of more than 1bn naira.
In a related development, Kano state agriculture officials revealed that 90% of 42,000 acres of tomato fields outside the city have been destroyed by the insect.
Meanwhile the managing director of the Aliko Dangote tomato processing factory, Abdulkareem Kaita said the factory has been forced to shut down because of the shortfall in supply of tomatoes.
Dubbed "tomato ebola" by Nigerian farmers, the brown moth, lays eggs on tomato plants and develops into a hungry caterpillar that feeds on the leaves, stems and fruit.
The moth which originated in South America and spread to Europe and Africa, quickly develops resistance to pesticides, making it difficult to contain.
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