Some tomato traders on Thursday appealed to the Federal Government to provide pest control measures to prevent further destruction of tomato by pests, “Tuta Absoluta.’’
The traders made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to them, pest control is a major issue as most of the crops are spoilt before they are transported to the markets.
Mrs Iyabo Akintunji, a trader at the Mile 12 Market, said that the virus was a major threat to their preservation methods.
She said that tomatoes could no longer last the normal time.
The government needs to help the farmers in the north to manage this virus because of the business we are doing,’’ she said.
Mrs Grace Ifende, a tomato trader at the Ikorodu Market, said that government should update the register of farmers in the country, and take steps to tackle the tomato pests.
“There is an urgent need for the local, state and federal governments to collaborate and develop a comprehensive database of rural and urban farmers nationwide, for effective disease control measures,’’ she said.
Mrs Funke Ajomale, a trader, said that more young farmers were needed in agriculture for research and innovation processes.
“More youths need to help the economy grow by making use of technology positively.
“They can help find solutions quicker to such problems and reducing our stress; we hope that government find a lasting solution to the tomato pests challenge,’’ Ajomale said.
Meanwhile, the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria, on Thursday said it had developed a vaccine for the tomato pests: “Tuta Absoluta.’’
The institute’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Bala Aliyu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria, Kaduna State, that an end had come to the disease, which had been ravaging tomato farms.
According to him, the Director-General of the institute, Prof. Idris Bugaje, has worked extensively to provide a lasting solution to the menace destroying the tomato farm in the country. (NAN)