A state of emergency has been declared in the tomato sector in Kaduna state, Nigeria. The Kaduna State Commissioner of Agriculture Daniel Manzo Maigar said that a moth called the Tomato Leaf Miner, or Tuta Absoluta, has ravaged 80% of tomato farms.
He said 200 farmers together lost at least 1 billion naira over the past month. The price of a basket of tomatoes has increased from N200 less than three months ago to more than N400 today. The pest is understood to be the cause of the unprecedented rise in the price of the agricultural commodity.
A state of emergency is declared to indicate the officials are taking drastic action to deal with a problem. In this case the state sent government agricultural officials to Kenya to meet experts on the Tomato Leaf Miner to learn how to deal with the pest.
In related news, a tomato paste manufacturing business in northern Kano state owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, suspended production earlier in the month due to the lack of tomatoes following the outbreak of the moth in northern states of Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Plateau and Katsina.
Tomatoes are a basic part of most Nigerians’ diets and the word tomato has trended on Twitter as people discuss the rising price. One of the memes being shared is a tongue-in-cheek look at Nigeria’s pain over discovering the annual festival in Spain where people throw tomatoes at each other. Moreso, the National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration and Control, NAFDAC has moved to ban the importation of tomato from China. It is believed that unwholesome tomato products are being imported from the Asian country. Tomato imports from the country, as shown by Codex Alimentarius fail to meet ingredient specifications.
The Full News Here: NAFDAC Plans to Ban Tomato Importation From China