The prices of tomatoes in the country has left average Nigerians totally heartbroken.
Making a pot of stew has become a very expensive venture for the Nigerian population and Jollof rice lovers have resolved to using canned tomato paste.
Many of you might not know the real reasons why the scarcity of this staple food has happened and continued to linger. Therefore, INFORMATION NIGERIA brings you everything you need to know about it in this revealing piece…
1. A ravaging insect pest known as ‘Tuta Absoluta’ which has destroyed an estimated 40 percent of anticipated harvest, causing prices to shoot up by 105 percent, from N17,000 to N35,000 per basket.
2.As a result, many fresh tomato sellers have also resorted to purchasing the produce from neighbouring countries, especially the Republic of Benin and Cameroon, in order to keep up with supply.
3.Tuta absoluta is a harmful leaf mining moth, also called tomato leaf miner and has a strong preference for the tomato plant.
4.The moth travels and breeds in swarms and has a reputation for swiftly ravaging tomato cultivation in a little above 48 hours – prompting farmers to nickname it Tomato Ebola.
5.The disease has spread across tomato farmlands in the north of Nigeria, including areas in and around Makarfi, Hunkuyi, Soba and Zuntu villages in Kaduna State; in Danja, Katsina State, and in Kadawa, Dakasoye and Kura villages in Kano State.
6.Tuesday, Kaduna state declared a state of emergency after moths destroyed swathes of tomato fields and according to the Kaduna state agriculture commissioner Manzo Daniel while speaking to APF, the outbreak of a moth has destroyed over 80 percent of tomato farms in the state.
7.Manzo Daniel added that more than 200 tomato farmers in the region have already suffered losses of more than one billion naira from the disease and the situation could get worse if something isn’t done fast.
8.Tuta absoluta, which originated in South America and spread to Europe and Africa, quickly develops resistance to pesticides, making it difficult to contain.