‘75% of Nige­ria’s tomato farm­ers face fi­nan­cial cri­sis’

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The present fi­nan­cial con­straint faced by Nige­rian tomato farm­ers has been at­trib­uted to Tuta ab­so­luta pest that has rav­aged thou­sands of hectares of tomato farms dur­ing last year’s dry sea­son, leav­ing the farm­ers with un­set­tled debts es­pe­cially in the north­ern part of the coun­try.

This was dis­closed by the Bauchi State chair­man of Tomato Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria ( TOGAN) Ahmed Ba­rau dur­ing a one day re­gional work­shop on sus­tain­able and bio-ra­tio­nal so­lu­tions for Tuta ab­so­luta, jointly or­ga­nized by a United King­dom based Rusell IPM and Agronet Nige­ria Lim­ited for tomato grow­ers, pro­ces­sors and mar­keters.

Ac­cord­ing to him, tomato farm­ers had been sub­jected to a lot of hard­ship due to the dam­age.

“Farm­ers are in need of as­sis­tance now or they will be elim­i­nated from the sec­tor for life. This Tuta ab­so­luta has in- deed dealt a big blow to tomato farm­ers in the af­fected ar­eas. Most of these farm­ers are broke now and can’t go back to farm this com­ing sea­son,” nar­rated Ba­rau.

Ear­lier, Kano state com­mis­sioner of Agri­cul­ture Nasiru Gawuna, rep­re­sented by the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Kano State Agri­cul­tural and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (KNARDA) Pro­fes­sor Mah­mud Daneji, said tomato farm­ers in the state lost about N1.5 bil­lion to the pest, adding that about 1450 hectares of tomato was af­fected in the 30 af­fected lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas in the state. He added that, the state gov­ern­ment had set up a com­mit­tee com­pris­ing every stake­holder and a re­port will be sub­mit­ted to the gov­er­nor soon.

Sim­i­larly, in his ad­dress the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Dan­gote Tomato Com­pany, Ab­dulka­reem Kaita stated that, if the is­sue of Tuta was not han­dled ef­fec­tively, it would crip­ple fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s at­tempt to re­vive agri­cul­ture.

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