Kano tomato farmers put lose to outbreak of ‘Tuta Absoluta’ disease at several billions of Naira
Farmers in the Kadawa tomato growing belt of Kano state have put the financial burden they incurred as a result of the outbreak of Tuta Absoluta disease at several billions of Naira.
According to the farmers, the destruction brought about by the disease outbreak is bigger than what the state was lost in the recent fire outbreak that engulfed Sabon –Gari Market in Kano metropolis.
The farmers made the disclosure, when Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje made a stopover at Gafan village in Garun Malam local government area where he addressed the farmers.
Tuta Absoluta is a harmful leaf mining moth, also called tomato leaf miner and has a strong preference for the tomato plant.
It has destroyed farmlands in Kano and across the country, which has made the price of tomatoes sky-rocket in the past few weeks.
It will be recalled that BusinessDay reported the outbreak of the four months ago, calling for urgent action from the Federal Government to arrest the devastating effect of the disease.
Addressing the farmers, the governor lamented the huge amount of loss they have incurred, promising that a census of the affected famers is being carried out by the government.
He also disclosed that the state government is working with the Federal Government, in collaboration with two research institutes, in the country, for provision of antidotes for the disease.
Umar Bello, one the tomato growers, who briefed the governor on the disease, said that they had incurred more loss than victims of the recent fire outbreak at Sabon Gari market, exacerbating the prevailing harsh living condition in the country, for them.
In the same vein, Governor Ganduje of Kano state says his administration is investing heavily in agriculture in order to increase the food security status of the state and to increase the sectors’ contribution to internally generated revenue.
The governor made the assertion during the celebration of the state Farmers Day and inauguration of 381 Agricultural extension workers and distribution of motorcycles to them, at Kadawa in Garun Mallam local government area.
“Oil money has dropped so the best option is for us to focus on agriculture so as to shore up our revenue, to enable us address the development deeds of our people”.
“We, as a leading wheat production state, have invested substantially in production of the commodity. For instance, the government provide N100 million interest-free loan to wheat farmers, drilled 1,000 tube wells, distributed 5, 000 hand pumps and procured two combined harvesters, clearing, sorting and grading machine, among others, to boost production”, the governor stated.
Governor Ganduje also stated that moves are on for the improvement of milk and meat production in the state as two Artificial Animal Insemination centers have already been established and equipped in the state.
He added that the new agricultural extension workers were recruited to build the capacity of farmers even as the government is encouraging private sector investment across all the agricultural value chains.
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