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Why price of tomatoes increased – Agriculture Minister, Kyari | Read details

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Why price of tomatoes increased – Agriculture Minister, Kyari | Read details

 

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has blamed the scarcity and the skyrocketed price of tomatoes in the markets on an infestation known as “Tomato Ebola or Tomato Leaf Miner”.

Mr Kyari disclosed this in a statement posted via his X handle on Monday.

The tweet read:

“A significant number of our tomato farms have been affected by a severe infestation known as Tomato Ebola or Tomato Leaf Miner.

This has drastically reduced the availability of tomatoes and contributed to rising costs.

 

Our ministry is taking immediate action to combat this issue. We are deploying agricultural experts to affected areas to contain and eliminate the infestation.

Additionally, we are supporting our farmers with the necessary resources and guidance to recover their crops as quickly as possible, just as we instituted the Ginger Blight Control Taskforce.

 

We understand the impact this has on your daily lives and are working tirelessly to resolve the situation and restore the supply of affordable tomatoes.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.”

Trustbase News reports that a paint of tomatoes is sold between N9,000 and N10,000.

Confirming the ministers claim on Tuesday, the Kano State chairman of Tomato Out Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), Sani Danladi, told newsmen that Tuta absoluta, one of the most devastating pests affecting tomato crops, is the main cause of the high prices of tomatoes across Nigeria.

Mr Danladi revealed that Tuta absoluta reappeared in Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa states in February.

Tuta absoluta is a species of moth in the family of Gelechiidae, which is also known by the name tomato leaf miner or ‘Tomato Ebola’.

Danladi stated;

“The primary cause of the high prices of tomatoes in the market is the tomato ebola.

 

“The tomato ebola started in February but because there are highly large production areas it didn’t affect almost all the areas but from April up till this period that is when all the tomatoes have finished.

“So, it’s only the riverine areas where they have so much plantation there that is why farmers are able to harvest some tomatoes from their farms. But now, almost all the tomatoes you see are coming from Pankshin Plateau and Ikara Kaduna State. These are the main places where you can get tomatoes now. That is why it is costly.

“Even at the farm a crate of 25kg cost N45,000 now from the farmer. Yes, that is why you see some farmers selling a bag for N60,000.

“The tomato Ebola is affecting Kano, Katsina Kaduna and Jigawa.

“You know tomatoes are not friendly with high temperatures. So it is normally good when it’s cold weather between January, February and March maximum but when it is above that, you cannot grow tomatoes generally in the North.”

“Recently the federal government gave us some chemicals which we will be able to use to monitor our farms. We are calling on the federal government to assist our farmers again because this ebola has come to stay.

We have started to experience this since 2015 up till now, and every year we experience it. It has come to stay. We can only manage it, learn how to adapt with it, how to have a bypass whereby we can be able to control it before it finishes all the farms”.

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