FG Blames Tomato Scarcity On “Tomato Ebola” Infestation

by Ohepo Ohepo

ABUJA, NIGERIA – The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has attributed the recent scarcity of tomatoes in parts of Nigeria to a severe infestation known as Tomato Ebola or Tomato Leaf Miner. This infestation has led to a significant reduction in tomato availability, causing prices to soar in many markets.

Impact of Infestation

Minister Kyari, in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, May 28, outlined the government’s response to the crisis. He described the situation as dire, with a substantial number of tomato farms affected by the infestation. “A significant number of our tomato farms have been affected by a severe infestation known as Tomato Ebola or Tomato Leaf Miner. This has drastically reduced the availability of tomatoes and contributed to rising costs,” Kyari stated.

Government Response

The minister emphasized that the federal government is taking immediate and robust action to combat the issue. “Our ministry is taking immediate action to combat this issue. We are deploying agricultural experts to affected areas to contain and eliminate the infestation,” Kyari announced. He also mentioned that the government is providing necessary resources and guidance to farmers to help them recover their crops swiftly.

Rise in cost of tomato caused by farm infestation and scarcity ? Agric Minister, Abubakar Kyari

Support for Farmers

To support the affected farmers, the ministry is instituting measures similar to those used in combating other agricultural challenges. Kyari drew parallels with the Ginger Blight Control Taskforce, indicating a coordinated and strategic approach. “Additionally, we are supporting our farmers with the necessary resources and guidance to recover their crops as quickly as possible, just as we instituted the Ginger Blight Control Taskforce,” he added.

Public Reassurance

Minister Kyari reassured the public that the government is fully aware of the impact this scarcity has on daily lives and is committed to resolving the situation promptly. “We understand the impact this has on your daily lives and are working tirelessly to resolve the situation and restore the supply of affordable tomatoes. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time,” he concluded.

Market Reactions

The scarcity of tomatoes has led to a sharp increase in prices, affecting both consumers and vendors. Many markets across the country have reported significant price hikes, adding to the economic strain on households.

Future Outlook

As the government intensifies efforts to address the Tomato Ebola infestation, there is hope that the situation will improve soon. The deployment of agricultural experts and the provision of support to farmers are expected to mitigate the impact and restore tomato production levels.

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