The National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NRICT), Zaria, Kaduna state, says it has developed a vaccine for the tomato pest: Tuta Absoluta popularly known as ‘tomato ebola’.
Tuta Absoluta is a specie of moth in family Gelechiidae known by the common names tomato leafminer and South American tomato moth.
It is well known as a serious pest of tomato crops in Europe and South America.
The Public Relations Officer of the Institute, Alhaji Bala Aliyu, told the News Agency of Nigeria 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 solution to the menace destroying the tomato farm in the country.
“This vaccine has been found to be very effective after undergoing various scientific testing,’’ he said.
The public relations officer said NARICT was partnering with regulatory agencies to certify the vaccine for onward use by farmers in Nigeria and the world at large. He said all things being equal the vaccine would be launched soon for the good of the nation.
Aliyu said it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure that the vaccine reached the farmers. He stressed that the agency had worked hard to find a solution to the dangerous disease.
“We will work with the state and federal government agencies to carry diffuse this important development to our teeming farmers in the country and beyond,’’ Aliyu added.
Tuta Absoluta is the disease responsible for the massive destruction of tomato in farmlands across the country, which has made the price of tomatoes sky-rocket in the past few weeks
The federal government had earlier engaged experts to find solution to the spread of the pest, which has ravaged tomato farms across six states in the country.