7 Things You To Know About ‘Tuta Absoluta’, The Pest That’s Making Tomatoes Scarce In Nigeria

Nigerians have been severely
affected by the scarcity of
tomatoes, which is a key
ingredient in most of the
delicacies prepared in this part of
the continent. The price of the
fruit has increased by 400
percent; Nigerians now pay
around 200 Naira for the same
quantity of tomatoes which was
sold at 50 Naira few months ago.
But while there have been
different rumours concerning the
tomato scarcity, the real reason
for the scarcity is a devastating
pest attack which has affected
this year's harvest. The pest
known as Tuta Absoluta has
reportedly affected tomato farms
in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina
and Plateau states.
Initially when Dangote Farms
Tomato Processing Factory
announced that it has halted
operations in its $20 million
tomato paste facility due to a
scarcity of tomatoes, barely two
months after beginning
operations, it came as a surprise
to many that believed Dangote
was the reason for the tomatoes
shortage plaguing Nigeria.
Nigeria is the 14th largest
producer of tomatoes in the
world. It is also the largest
producer of tomatoes in sub-
Saharan Africa and the eighth
largest importer of tomato paste
in the world after Iraq and Japan.
Here are seven things you need
to know about the pest called
'Tuta absoluta'
1.Tuta absoluta is also known by
the common name tomato
leafminer or the South American
tomato moth
2.It was first discovered in South
America and has been spreading
rapidly across the world from
South America
3.It has the ability to destroy a
whole tomato farm within 48
hours

4.It is also very difficult to control
as it has a high mutation capacity
with the ability to develop a
resistance to insecticides
5. Around this time in 2015,
farmers in some parts of Nigeria
recorded losses as a result of this
same pest attack but the
consequences of this attack
weren't reflected in the price of
the commodity because the
demand for the crop wasn't as
high as it is now.
6.It took Sudan about three years
to recover from a similar attack
in 2010.
7.This plague could also dampen
the export of fruits and
vegetables.

Source: nigerianmonitor.com

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