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Pest Destroys Tomatoes In Gombe 3 LGA

- Another tomato scarcity might be looming as the tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta has struck again

- The pest has seriously affected tomato harvests in three local governments in Gombe state

- The pest caused a major tomato scarcity in Nigeria in 2016 when it destroyed the tomato harvest

According to the Gombe State Agricultural Development Project (ADP), the tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta, has seriously affected tomato harvests in three local governments in the state.

In 2016, the destructive tomato pest, destroyed tomato farms across Nigeria causing an astronomical increase in the market price of tomato.

The Pest Control Officer, Abba Dreba, in Gombe on Wednesday, May 10 told NAN that the affected local governments were Akko, Kwami and Yamltu-Deba.

He said: “The tomato pest started ravaging tomato farms since last year but the ADP was not aware of this until this year; this is because tomato farmers in the affected local government areas were ignorant of the pest.

“However, when we received the report, we went round the entire local governments of Gombe and discovered that only Akko, Kwami and Yamltu-Deba local government areas were affected.

“The entire tomato farms in the three areas were devastated. This is a very serious problem because the pest is resistant to all the available chemicals and insecticides in the market."

He then called on the state government to initiate proactive measures to ensure that tomato planted in this rainy season would not be affected by the pest.

“If proactive measures are not taken, tomato farmers will divert their attention to other crops because Tuta Absoluta is very devastating,” he said.

Mr Sunday Lah the director of the Gombe ADP Agric Extension Services, advised farmers to wait for the rainy season to be well-established before engaging in crop planting.

According to Lah, this was the only way to ensure that their crops would not be destroyed by the pest too.

To solve the problem, he said that the ADP was trying to procure seeds from reputable institutions for farmers in the state.

“Most at times, a farmer goes to the open market to buy seeds without knowing the source,’’ he said.
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