Tomato farmers in Kano State are currently counting losses incurred as a result of pest attacks on plantations in the state. The resurgence of the deadly crop disease – Tuta Absoluta at the early period of dry session has crippled hectares of cultivated farms, leaving growers in irreparable losses running into millions of naira.
Although experts say vegetables such as tomatoes are naturally susceptible to pest attacks, the current extent of devastation on farms in Kano may widen the supply gap in markets across the country.
The state Chairman of the Tomato Out-Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN), Mallam Sani Danladi, told The Guardian that over 700 growers were affected by the recent outbreak of Tuta Absoluta in the state. According to him, more than 300 hectares of land with produce running into over N1.2b have been destroyed by the disease in the last six months, affirming a possible shortage of the commodity in the near future.
Available records showed that the first outbreak of Tuta Absoluta on tomatoes in Africa happened in Niger Republic and Senegal in 2015. The disease was eventually noticed later in the year in Nigeria, specifically in Daura, Katsina State. Kano had the first share of this experience in 2016 when the pest wreaked havoc on farms leaving farmers with hundreds of millions of losses.
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