Nigerian government hires experts to tackle tomato pest

The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it has started engaging experts to help tackle the spread of "tuta absoluta," a pest which currently ravages tomato farms in the West African country.


Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh told a news conference that the pest could also attack pepper and Irish potatoes, saying the country was combating a very serious disease.


According to Ogbeh, the very powerful infestation of the pest, which was discovered in South America in 1912 where it ravaged many farms before it spread to Europe and then to Asia and now to East and West Africa, could make it impossible for the Nigeria to grow tomatoes, if not dealt with.

It was discovered that the “tuta absoluta” came into Nigeria from Niger Republic, the official added.

Having spread to five major tomato planting provinces in Nigeria, the official said the disease had already affected the sales of the commodity in local markets.

He assured that the Nigerian government will, in collaboration with provincial governments, do everything possible to stem the spread of the pest. Enditem


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