El-Rufai Declares State Emergency on Tomatoes Sector

El-Rufai Declares State Emergency on Tomatoes Sector

By ALEX UANGBAOJE

Kaduna state Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai has declared a state-of-emergency on the tomatoes sector in the state, saying that 80% of tomatoes farms have been ravaged by an exotic pest, called tomato blight ( Tuta Absoluta) with 200 farmers in only three Local Government Area, LGA, losing one billion Niara in the last one month.

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El-Rufai in a Press Conference through his Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Manzo Daniel on Monday told newsmen that, already some officials of the ministry have been sent to Kenya to liaise with experts and return with a solution.

He said: “I want to say that Governor Nasir El-Rufai has declared a state-of-emergency on tomatoes in the state. This is as a result of invasion of the crops by a pest named tomato blight botanically known as Tuta Aboluta.

“In the past one month 12 LGAs of the state who produce tomatoes have lost 80% of its tomatoes harvest. In three LGA, about 200 famers have lost One billion naira worth of their tomatoes. So you can imagine the magnitude of the lose.
“It is so severe that even Dangote who has established a tomato processing plant in Kano, had to shut down production.

“The problem with the disease which is caused by a moth, is that no amount of spraying will kill the adult. You spray it, after about three hours, it revives back to life. So, we have sent some of our officials to travel to Kenya and meet our partners. Kenya has a good advantage on this issue over us.

“We understand that they use a plant extract to take care of this problem. But we do not have that knowledge yet. We expect them to return very soon with a short and medium term solution,” he said.

The Governor also said that the state will vaccinate 7 million livestock in the state to secure both man an animal from infections.

“About 63% of all diseases that infect man are transmitted by animals. So vaccinating cats, dogs, horses and even poultry, is to protect man,” he said.

“Not long ago, a Professor of the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria was bitten by a dog and he died of rabies infection. We have received several cases with dog bits, because in the past 20 years there has been no any vaccination in the state.

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