By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, on Friday said the federal government has developed a home-grown solution to the ravaging tomato pest, tuta absoluta, otherwise known as tomato ‘Ebola’
The disease, the minister averred, has ravaged hundreds of hectares of tomato farms resulting in dire scarcity of the farm produce and thereby skyrocketing the prices of tomatoes in the market.
He said the discovery was made through the National Chemical Institute for Chemical Technology, Zaria in Kaduna state, an agency under the ministry.
Onu made the disclosure while playing host to the Director General of the institute, Prof. Bugaje, who came to brief him about the development at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
The minister said: “Very recently the nation woke up to hear that a pest ravaged our tomatoes farms in many parts of the country and the nation sustained a lot of losses. As a result, tomato factories were unable to get enough supply of tomatoes and had to shut down.
“Fortunately, an agency of the ministry has developed a pesticide agent that is very effective against this new tomato pest called tuta absoluta.”
While expressing confidence that the pesticide will eradicate the tomato disease, he added: “The pest ravaging tomato farms is of great concern to the nation, and this had let to an agency of the ministry to develop a pesticide agent which is very effective against the new tomato pest.“
Further details later