The Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, while responding to questions on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja has revealed that researchers in the institution have successfully developed a remedy for Tuta Absoluta, popularly called ‘Tomato Ebola’.
He said the university’s Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), which carried out the research, had since submitted its findings to the Minister of Agriculture.
“They studied the outbreak, found the remedy and it has already been arrested. We gave the report to the government a few weeks back to tell government that this is what it is and what should be done to forestall future happening or to contain it,” the VC said.
Prof Garba also discussed on the National Mandate the institution received on nine crops to produce varieties that could withstand and tolerate the environmental conditions in the country by improving their yields.
He said “the university’s Agricultural Research Complex accommodates the Faculty of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), the National Agricultural Extension and Liaison Services as well as the National Animal Production and Research Institute (NAPRI) with division agricultural colleges at Mando in Kaduna, Samaru in Zaria and Kabba in Kogi.
“In the IAR, we have the national mandate on about nine crops.
“What that mandate means is that we produce varieties of those crops that can withstand and tolerate our environment and improve yields on sorghum, cowpea, cotton and groundnut.
“But in sorghum alone, we have developed almost about nine varieties that fit into different ecological areas of Nigeria.
“In NAPRI, they are doing artificial insemination where they are modifying the genetic composite of our animals.
The VC added that, “They are researching on cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys and camels because these are all sources of meat for us. We are growing grasses for our animal fodder and so on and so forth.”