Nigeria Is Fighting Tomato Ebola, A Severe Pest Damaging Tomato Fields

After suffering from severe fuel scarcity, Nigerian and her farmers are facing another battle- Tomato Ebola.

Tomato Ebola is a pest that destroys tomato plants in a large scale attack. Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s of Agriculture has declared a state of emergency across six worst hit states.

The crisis has led to over 60% rise in the price of tomato across the country. Two major factories producing processed tomato paste in sealed nylons and cans have shut down. While the country is still reeling from the negative effect of the fuel scarcity. Nigerians are generally apprehensive over the development.

Manzo Daniel, Kaduna state agriculture commissioner, said the state is taking drastic steps to address the situation “We have declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of a moth that has destroyed over 80% of tomato farms in the state. A wholesale basket containing hundreds of tomatoes now sells for 42,000 naira (USD212), up from 300 (USD1.50) to NGN 1,500 (USD7.50) before the outbreak”

Citing a note of warning to the market, Manzo said “This is only the beginning of a disaster if we don’t take drastic measures because the disease is fast spreading across the north,”.

Food prices in Nigeria are often very unstable. Apart from periodic outbreak of diseases, increment in fuel prices often lead to a huge spike in prices. Nigeria still imports food commodities. The fall in the value of the Naira has compounded the problem.

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