6 states hit by disease – FG

The Federal Government has said that six Nigerian states are currently battling “Tomato Ebola”, a disease spread by the moth, Tuta absoluta.

 

The disease is responsible for the destruction of many tomato fields, leading to a scarcity of the vegetable.

The disclosure was made by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh during a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.

“The pest can also attack even pepper and Irish potato. So we are confronting something quite serious. But the good thing is that we are tackling it right now as experts will commence work immediately,” Ogbeh said.

“We are bringing the commissioners and governors of states to jointly attack this pest, which, if not dealt with, will create serious problems for food security in our country.

“We have called in experts and we have studied the profile of what we have to do with the pest. Unfortunately, ordinary pesticides cannot deal with this `tuta absoluta’ because it has a way of multiplying so fast. It produces almost 250 offspring per cycle; we are in contact with a group which had dealt with this in other countries and they are offering us solutions.

In the next few days we shall get to work on this and begin treatment. It is going to be quite expensive as it will cost about five naira per tomato plant,” he added.

The affected states are Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.

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