According to tomato farmers in Dantankari, Katsina State, they have found a solution for the dreaded tomato disease known as tuta absoluta, locally known as ‘tomato ebola’ that ravaged farms in the state.
Daily Trust had, in June 2015, reported how tomato production in the country was severely hit by an outbreak of disease that left many farms devastated across the major producing states, Katsina included.
A tomato farmer in Dantankari, Malam Hamza Liman Gambo, said though they were yet to come across the new pesticide, said to have been developed by NARICT, they have found a reliable solution that mitigated the damage done by tuta absoluta on tomato farms.
“With the discovery of Ampligo 150ZC last year, our major problem of tomato ‘ebola’ was now brought to the barest minimum. The rate at which tomato farmers lost millions of naira here two years ago is greatly reduced, though the number of farmers in the area also dropped due to the fear of the disease and the low price experienced last year,’’ he said.
He added that before the development of Ampligo, farmers tried all sorts of pesticides but in vain. Even with the discovery of Ampligo in 2016, many of the irrigation farmers were skeptical about its efficiency until recently when every farmer was scouting for the pesticide due to its effective action on tuta absoluta.
“Unlike in the past when ‘ebola’ attacked and destroyed large tomato farms within two to five days, this year with adequate watering and application of Ampligo, the disease was degraded to the barest level, enabling farmers to harvest the produce with a high yield and a basket costing N3,000 in the farms,’’ Malam Nasiru Dantankari, who in 2015 lost about N2,000,000 due to the disease, said.